We’re expecting a rise in demand for individual counseling in San Antonio. And it’s not unlikely that this will happen everywhere in the country.
The main culprit? COVID-19.
This pandemic is wreaking havoc in our lives. But it’s not just the threat that this virus has to our body.
The whole scenario that the pandemic created in our society…
The lockdowns… the isolation… the financial instability…
All of these are aggravating mental health issues.
So if you’re feeling depressed, don’t feel embarrassed. You’re not overreacting. You’re not just feeling things. Whatever you’re going through – it’s valid.
You’re not alone – and you don’t have to face this alone.
A look at what’s happening around us…
A Washington Post article revealed a couple of statistics about this.
- In April 2020, more than 1,000% increase in people texting the federal emergency hotline for emotionally distressed people. Roughly 20,000 people sent a text to the hotline that’s run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Nearly half of Americans admitted that the pandemic is negatively affecting their mental health (as revealed in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll).
A Medical News Today article also revealed the results of a survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau last December 2020. Apparently, 42% of Americans reported that they’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. This is a huge increase from 11% during the same time the previous year.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also warned us of the same thing. The challenges brought about by the pandemic caused stress and anxiety in both children and adults. Among the effects included:
- Feelings of fear, sadness, anger, worry
- Sleeping problems
- Changes in interests, attitude, desires, interests
- Worsening chronic conditions (both mental and physical ailments)
- Increase in the use of substances and alcohol (and other vices)
If you are experiencing any of these, the CDC encourages you to learn how to cope with the stress healthily. It’ll help you be more resilient in overcoming what you’re going through – or that of your loved ones.
In case there’s no way for you to talk to family and friends, talk to a professional. If you’re within the area, look for individual counseling in San Antonio. You’ll be surprised by how much an hour session can help with your mental health.
Main mental health effects caused by the pandemic
What exactly are the mental health effects that Americans are facing right now? Let’s take a look at different groups of people and how the pandemic is affecting them.
Children and teens
Socialization is important in the development of children and teens. Being forced to isolate, even if it’s with the family, has disrupted their perception of what’s normal.
To make matters worse, children and adults react to stress differently. Since children and teens look to adults for an explanation about what’s happening, the answers they seek may not be enough to comfort them. This uncertainty can lead to distress, anxiety, and even a more permanent social isolation.
In some cases, the situation is aggravated by abusive situations in their homes.
To find out if children and teens are suffering from mental health issues, look for changes in their behavior. Among the signs include:
- They are easily annoyed or constantly crying.
- It’s harder for them to stay focused or attentive.
- Changes in eating behavior.
- Unexplained pain or headaches in their body.
To help these children and teens overcome their mental health issues, parents or guardians should remain calm. It’s best to approach this wisely and with patience. Answering their questions will help reassure them of what’s happening around them.
Elderly and people with disabilities
If you know that you’re a high-risk from COVID-19, you’ll also feel stressed and anxious. This is why the elderly and disabled individuals are also showing signs of mental health issues. They’re not just worried about the loneliness that comes with being isolated from their family and friends. Their weak immune systems and health conditions are making things worse.
To spot signs of degrading mental health, these are the changes that usually happen:
- There’s an increase in irritability and frequent emotional outbursts.
- Changes in their sleeping and eating habits.
It’s important to make the elderly and disabled family members feel safe during these times. Talking to them and being a part of their lives usually helps. You’ll never know how important a simple phone call can be for them.
Considering that they are the front-liners in the fight against COVID-19, it’s not surprising that health workers have their mental health struggles themselves.
Imagine being constantly afraid for your life every time you have to go to work? It’s stressful. And knowing that you can’t act on that fear because patients are looking to you for help – it’s very hard. Not to mention the fact that they see how the pandemic has brought about death everywhere.
This is why doctors, nurses, and even paramedics need to be careful about their mental health as well. They need to take breaks. And to talk to someone to calm and relax their minds.
The main issue for those who had COVID-19 is stigmatization. Although people are warned about discriminating against those who were released from quarantine, you can’t expect everyone to follow. This makes it hard for these people because they are already fearful of the long-term effects of the virus on their bodies. Dealing with the stigma and the discrimination is another issue.
If you can relate to this, it’s best to talk to someone about it. This is such a heavy burden to carry. Having someone to share your fears with can help you process what’s going on in your body and specifically, how your mental state is coping.
How to overcome the mental health effects of the pandemic
Although reading about all these mental health effects can feel daunting, don’t worry.
There are things you can do to keep it from crippling you.
The first is education. By reading this article, you are actually on the right track. Learn more about mental health so you know the signs if you need help – or if someone close to you needs it.
You should also surround yourself with people who love and support you. If it’s not possible to do this physically, stay in close contact with those who can support you. Communication, even if it’s done online, really helps a lot.
Finally, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek professional help. Talk to a licensed counselor who is trained to recognize the signs of mental health issues.
If you’re looking for individual counseling in San Antonio, give us a call.