As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over the world, there’s another pandemic lurking beneath the surface—our worsening mental health.
Poor mental health is one of the under-recognized effects of COVID-19. Health professionals and government officials have to prioritize community physical health during this difficult time. People who are suffering from declining mental health often face challenges with getting connected to the right resources.
It’s no surprise that this is happening. With the economy in shambles, most people staying more isolated than they had in the past, employment struggles, relationship problems, and more, our mental health is collateral damage to an already overwhelming situation.
Keep reading to learn all about COVID-19 and mental health.
COVID-19: Depression, Anxiety, and More
People all over are on edge in 2021. Regardless of how one feels about the pandemic, it’s made extreme changes to everyone’s lives. People have had their lives turned upside-down.
People who already had anxiety surrounding illness or economic distress are feeling that anxiety even more during COVID-19. Because of the social and political climate surrounding the pandemic, there’s even more stress, anxiety, and hopelessness.
The 24-hour news cycle lends itself to despair rather than hope. People are unable to find respite from fear and anxiety due to the longevity of this situation.
Social Isolation and Mental Health
The anxiety and depression problems are made worse by social isolation. While physical distancing is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people could not make the successful transition to online interactions. This leaves many people feeling isolated.
Isolation can cause depression, cognitive dysfunction, poor executive function, and more. It also increases social anxiety, making it difficult to get back “into the real world” for tasks like shopping.
It’s vital for anyone who is still self-isolating to seek out social interaction either one-on-one or via online methods.
A Lack of Resources
Mental health resources have always been scarce in the United States. There have been attempts to increase accessibility with systems like telehealth. With the growing number of people needing care, many people still find it difficult to find help.
This leaves many vulnerable people in dark places. Behavioral health centers are often overwhelmed and have long waitlists.
Substance Use During The Pandemic
There’s one mental health problem that’s been lurking in the shadows for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic so far: substance abuse.
Substance use has increased during the pandemic. It’s also now far more dangerous than it was in the past due to supply chain problems. It’s more likely for someone to experience an overdose and be unable to get the help they need.
Our Mental Health: COVID’s Collateral Damage
While the pandemic continues, we must not sweep our mental health under the rug. It’s been almost two years of trauma (and yes, COVID does count as trauma on a worldwide scale). Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or find resources for your mental wellbeing.
You don’t have to suffer alone. If you’re feeling depressed or hopeless and traditional resources haven’t been effective, consider requesting an appointment for TMS therapy. Contact us today to get started.