The Pandemic and Anxiety

  • Posted at Sep 23, 2021
  • Written by Rebecca
The Pandemic and Anxiety

Mental Health has become a hot topic in the past year. This is extremely beneficial to all who suffer from mood disorders, as it used to be a taboo subject. Since COVID changed the world, the anxiety it has brought with it can’t be ignored. It is no longer viewed as something people can just “get over”. Rather, anxiety is caused by a combination of factors, and the stress of the pandemic has exacerbated that. Hence, the reason that many are dealing with ‘coronavirus anxiety’.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder. According to the ADAA, it affects over 40 million adults in the United States over the age of 18. Anxiety can be brought on by a number of factors, including:

  • Genetics and family history
  • Chemistry imbalances of the brain
  • Personality
  • Life events and circumstances
  • A traumatic event
  • A combination of the above factors

Anxiety disorders often coincide with depression. Also, there are a number of different forms of anxiety, like Generalized Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Specific phobias, Social Anxiety, and more. Each of these are treatable conditions, and anyone suffering from symptoms of anxiety should see a doctor. Severe anxiety can be crippling, and there are treatments for it.

Since COVID closed the world down in March of 2020, cases of anxiety and related disorders have been on the rise. As a result, they are also more talked about. So, how has COVID impacted anxiety?

COVID’s Impact on Anxiety

Let’s face it. Life as we know it has completely changed since COVID swept through. Unfortunately, cases are still high and for many of us, life has been altered completely. It is a known fact that sudden changes in routine and normalcy can make anyone anxious, and COVID was a sudden change that impacted everyone. From runs to the grocery store to business meetings and people’s social life, COVID has changed things. COVID has caused:

  • Social isolation
  • Businesses to close
  • Uncertain economic situations
  • Fear of illness and death
  • Separation of friends and family

The above list is enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat. For people suffering from anxiety, having stability in their life is essential. COVID threw a wrench into that and forced people into situations they weren’t prepared for.

For people who didn’t have anxiety prior to the pandemic but had characteristics that made them good candidates for it, the pandemic may have brought out symptoms they had never experienced before.

What You Can Do About Coronavirus Anxiety

No matter if you had diagnosed anxiety before COVID or got diagnosed within the last year and a half, the good news is that there are things you can do to manage symptoms. The first thing to do is to make an appointment with your health care provider. They can assess and diagnose your symptoms and suggest an appropriate course of care. Telehealth has made accessing doctors easier than ever before. So, you can get diagnosed and start treatment all from the comfort of your own home.

After you see your doctor, take inventory of your lifestyle. Are you eating healthy and getting enough exercise? These simple steps can improve anxiety symptoms immensely. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home or outside, and keep your exposure to COVID minimal. Keeping yourself healthy and in good shape will also help prevent COVID in general. Make sure to stay in touch with friends and family by making calls, video chats, and visiting in person under safe conditions. Also, find activities that you enjoy doing.

The reality is that COVID has had a tremendous impact on mental health. The good news is that you can do something about it, starting today!

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