The invisible strange enemy of COVID-19: Depression
We are in difficult times - there is no doubt about that. At the beginning of March 2019, we had absolutely no idea we were going into a situation of a lockdown and on such a global scale. It has all happened rather quickly and it is fuelling an unprecedented level of anxiety and fear. Some people are masking the situation with humour, and for a few moments, we can escape reality. The stark reality, however, is that coronavirus has taken lives and the future is unsettling. This place of not knowing is uncomfortable for most people. It brings up feelings of denial, dismissal, and questions around what the future holds.
Having been able to go about our daily business for so long, it has been hard for us to have that freedom taken away from us. It is something most have taken for granted. The enforced lockdown is creating all sorts of relationship difficulties, for couples, families and children. In addition to financial worries, there are worries about the long-term challenges.
How do we navigate our way through all these new scenarios? An important learning is that it is time to rally round each other as we are each other’s greatest asset. The Dalai Lama explains that prayer is not enough and that we must take responsibility where we can.
The challenge on mental health is unprecedented. Some people face further isolation. The situation has increased loneliness, which is difficult as we are social beings. There is a higher level of general anxiety, stress and fear of what the future holds. There are a host of other problems of emotional and physical abuse, and other mental health issues to come.
To fall into depression at these times is not uncommon. But counselling can help, and many therapists are moving with the times and are able to offer telephone or online counselling. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the support of family and friends, but also families and friends may not be accessible or able to listen and contain our anxieties.
In the current climate engaging in therapy if needed could be useful. To have a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space in which a client can get respite and air their deepest fear. Therapy offers a space to talk about difficult and painful experiences, to discuss the here and now, the ‘what and what ifs’. It offers a space where the unmanageable can feel manageable. Therapy can give clarity to situations. The support of a trained professional would allow a greater ability to manage the long-term challenges as well as draw on possibilities.
People often ask what the ‘best therapy’ is. Well, the best therapy is always the one that is best for you. If you feel comfortable and are able to confide in your therapist, openly and honestly then this is a good start. Therapy is a journey, you can expect support but also bear in mind, like any journey, there is likely to be ups and downs. It is referred to as ‘the talking cure’.
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