As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, many people are forced to deal with the reality that the world has just been changed forever. Whether they’re dealing with the fear of becoming infected, having already contracted the virus and are still struggling to cope, or caring for a loved one who currently has the virus, these people will need help coping no matter how they do this pandemic ends.
This catastrophe has brought unprecedented challenges to people’s mental health worldwide. New research has shown that certain mental health disorders are more prevalent during the pandemic than otherwise.
What Is Mental Health?
It’s a state of well-being where every individual realizes their potential, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute totheir community. It’ is necessary to remember that mental health is not just the absence of a mental disorder. It’s a dynamic state that constantly evolves and changes throughout a human being’s life.
Every person needs someone to rely on to help them through the tough times, even share an ice cream cone or a favorite song. Everyone needs somebody who believes in them unconditionally, no matter the challenge.
What Is Mental Health Awareness?
Mental health awareness is about understanding and recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders. It’s also about knowing how to get help for oneself or someone else. It is vitally important because it can help reduce mental illness stigma. Awareness can also encourage people to seek help when they need it.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’svital to be aware of your mentalhealth. It’s not good for anyone to suffer in silence or alone.Knowing what to look for can help you weather the storm, both with yourself and with someone who might be struggling. When you understand what to watch for, it’ll be easier to seek help from a professional.
To start, you can go to online resources such as https://apibhs.com/anxiety-treatment and get more information that may help you or someone you know, but only if they are aware that something is wrong.
Mental Health Disorders During The Pandemic
People are at risk for developing particular mental health disorders during the pandemic that would only appear during times of hardship and distress.
The most common mental health disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic are:
- Anxiety Disorders
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a great deal of anxiety on a global scale, which in turn is causing many people to potentially develop anxiety disorders. When people suffer from an anxiety disorder, they have a general feeling of fear or dread that can be debilitating if left untreated.
People who have an anxiety disorder typically develop symptoms such as:
- Frequent worrying
- Panic attacks
- Irrational fears
- Constant feelings of being overwhelmed
These mental health disorders fall into a few distinct categories:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This is the most common anxiety disorder during the pandemic. People with GAD may feel excessive worry about everyday things like work or school. They may be anxious about family or friends getting sick or even fear their own safety. People with GAD tend to take their anxiety out on loved ones and friends.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorders are another common type of anxiety disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panic attacks typically start to occur when people with panic disorder become so overwhelmed by their anxiety that their body goes into panic mode. It can cause a wide range of physical symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): It’san anxiety disorder that causes people to feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable in social settings. People with SAD mayfear judgment from others or feel so self-conscious that they cannot participate in social activities.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): It’s an anxiety disorder that causes people to have intrusive thoughts and related compulsions. OCD patients may feel the need to excessively clean or check things or may engage in other compulsive behaviors to try andrelieve their anxiety.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
People who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may develop PTSD in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. PTSD can cause people to feel intense fear, horror, or helplessness after exposure to a traumatic event.
People who have PTSD typically experience symptoms such as:
- Flashbacks and nightmares of the event
- Intense anxiety and fear when faced with reminders of the event
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities due to emotional numbing
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or remembering things
- Depression Disorder
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people felt hopeless and isolated due to the continually worsening conditions. It’s causing depression rates to skyrocket. The rise of antidepressant use during this time should not be surprising.
People who have depression disorder typically experience symptoms such as:
- Feelings of excessive sadness or guilt
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating or making decisions
- Suicidal tendencies
- Substance Abuse Disorder
There’s a significant increase in substance abuse during the pandemic because many people turn to alcohol and other substances for relief from their symptoms and pain. Peoplewho have a history of substance abuse are especially at risk for developing a substance use disorder during the pandemic.
People who have a substance use disorder typically experience symptoms such as:
- Unsuccessful efforts to reduce or stop using the drug or alcohol
- Compulsive behavior despite consequences
- An inability to meet obligations due to substance use
- Eating Disorders
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stress and anxiety in people, leading to the development of eating disorders. People with eating disorders are typically described as unhealthy relationships with food and may engage in excessive dieting, binge eating, or purging.
Eating disorders can be extremely dangerous and cause serious health problems if left untreated.
Why Is Awareness Important?
Mental health disorders are not something people should be ashamed of having. They’re medical conditions, like any other physical illness. It’s essential to know what different mental illnesses look like because this can help you support the ones you love if they develop an illness or seek treatment for yourself if you need it.
People with mental illness need support in coping with their conditions the same way someone might cope with a physical illness like diabetes or heart disease. People experiencing symptoms of these disorders may feel overwhelmed and hopeless, but having access to appropriate treatment can make all the difference. If you’re aware of what to look for, it’s possible to help someone with a mental illness to live their life healthily.
Patients should also know that it’ unnecessary to have all the symptoms listed above to have any mental illness. However, if you’re experiencing several symptoms,talking to someone about your concerns might be helpful.
People sometimes forget that this pandemic affectsall aspects of your well-being, especially your mental and physical health. It’ snecessary tobe aware of the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses so that youcan all get the help you need.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The sooner you get the assistance you need, the better the outcome is likely to be.