The pandemic: Effects on mental health
As a nation, we all have been affected and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us, it's taken our security, threatened our health and lives but furthermore, it’s deeply affected the mental health of many lives like never before. New occurrences of people needing support are increasing at a rapid rate.
In this article, I offer my opinion as to why this is and look at some examples of some of the effects which have been widely analysed.
Effects of COVID-19 on mental health
When someone fears the safety of their own lives and their loved one's, a survival mechanism is ignited. Our alarm system, thus adrenaline, along with high anxiety is increased. This has an impact both on the physical body and the psychological mind. When a person is affected in this way their cognition can be distorted, as well as experiencing overwhelming emotions.
Isolation and depression
Another aspect is how many citizens of our nation live alone. Isolation for the period we all have experienced will have an impact on a person. When alone for this type of period, thoughts and emotions can arise that affect overall mood. When a mood lowers there is a chance of falling into depression. Depression is one of the most common conditions in the world and if not treated can develop further.
Stress on relationships
Family’s that are living together, for instance; a wife or husband who normally would be out at work for long periods of time, are now together at home along with, let's say, three children. This is an unfamiliar experience for an unusually extended period. Unfamiliar family dynamics will affect each member of the household. Arguments could be more often. Stress levels increasing can affect all members of the household. Unfortunately, some of this stress may have even led to violent behaviour or abuse.
Changes in mental health support
Many people who already have diagnosed mental health conditions had to quickly adapt to, for example, online support instead of support in person. This would have been an extremely difficult adjustment due to the familiarity of their previous support. It can be confusing enough in a fairly stable world let alone some of chaotic experiences we may have felt recently.
Separation from a partner is also a consequence of this crisis. A couple who live apart could have had a significant physical break during the period of lockdown. In some cases it could have been the main contributor to the relationship ending. This would be a very painful process to manage.
Therapy can help with all of the above examples.
These mental health issues could be the tip of the iceberg as my gut tells me individually we all have been affected in our own way. As a therapist, I learnt my profession to make a difference. Which is why I and other therapists are increasing their services for those who are struggling and have made allowances to those who are having financial problems.
Sharing and being heard is a powerful act so do ask for help and be heard as it could make a difference. Find the right support for you from our database of professional therapists on Counselling Directory.
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