Perhaps the most pressing issue in the developed world today is mental health. Since the onset of the pandemic there has been a surge of people displaying the need for a range of mental health services. It is an expected outcome of an overnight global pandemic. However studies conducted on just how drastic the rise of mental health related issues has been is truly heartbreaking.
Depression and Anxiety
The most prevalent form of mental health distress has been depression and anxiety. Often undiagnosed among many, the pandemic has shined a light on the overlooked disorder. The number of people reporting symptoms of depression and/or anxiety has multiplied rapidly since the quarantine began early 2020. The data compiled shows an additional 30% of the population reported these symptoms following the pandemic. In 2019 only 11% of people reported depression or anxiety. Today it is around 41% and growing. This is problematic to say the least. Alongside a pandemic has been an epidemic just as powerful. An epidemic of depressive disorders of the mind can be just as destructive as a virus that attacks the body. While scientists are busy preparing solutions to the pandemic sweeping the nation there is an attack on the nation that requires a solution of a different kind. The psychological attack on society from the effects of an intense pandemic desperately needs to be mitigated.
Of all the disorders this was probably the most easily predictable. Being told constantly across all forms of media that a deadly virus is rapidly spreading does not exactly allow for good sleep. Several studies show this clearly. Data coming in from universities across Jordan to Europe to China confirm that sleep disorders have skyrocketed since the quarantine began. Among university students in Egypt over 60% reported depression and sleep disorder symptoms. In Greece, sleep quality decreased by 43% following the pandemic. Insomnia has prevailed everywhere in the world. A guided plan of action for the general public should be discussed.
Neurological and Brain Disorders
The data has begun piling up on how the corona virus attacks the brain and causes a development of new disorders that were not previously there. According to a study the Lancet Psychiatry Journal 1 in 3 Covid survivors have developed neurological disorders following contact with the virus. The study found that within 6 months of infection there has been a development of disorders related to the psyche in many people. The study collected data from more than 230,000 patient health records. This group was then compared to about 106,000 patients who were diagnosed with influenza and over 236,000 patients diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection, including influenza.
The incidence of being diagnosed with a neurological or mental health disorder after being infected with Covid was 34%. The connection was then made between the novel virus and psychological disorders. A statistic like this one is too high to be just a coincidence. This study included 14 neurological and mental health disorders. In 13% of patients this was their first recorded diagnosis of a mental health disorder. The most common diagnoses made in Covid survivors were anxiety disorder, mood disorders, substance misuse disorders, and insomnia. Brain hemorrhage, stroke, and dementia were also found to occur.
How to Fight It
This is not the time to be losing hope. We must all be strong in fighting the damage the Corona Virus Pandemic has caused and is continuing to cause. Luckily there is a lot you can do to manage these manifested disorders.
One place to start is getting back to the basics. Relieve anxiety the natural way by compiling an excersize schedule. Working out has always helped to relieve anxiety and depression universally because of the endorphins it produces in the body. Work out regularly and take up a form of excersize you enjoy doing. This is the key to making excersize less of a job and more of a fun hobby. It can be as simple as a 10 minute daily run. Another basic is getting a massage. This does not have to be expensive. A national gym chain like Planet Fitness offers free hydromassage sessions with its Black Card membership. This membership is $22.99 monthly and includes a range of other benefits including free sessions with certified trainers to help you reach your fitness goals.
You can relax for a lot cheaper than you previously thought possible.
Another affordable option can be something as basic as making yourself a relaxing drink. Pour yourself a hot chocolate on a cold day or an ice tea this summer. Sit there with your drink and express gratitude for what you still have. Covid has taken away a lot from our lives but it surely has not taken everything. Keep a journal of the things you are grateful for that you still have. Gratitude is an amazing emotion and, factually speaking, one cannot be anxious at the same moment they are grateful. Let your gratitude ease your pains.
Another proven method of depression relief is prayer. There is a soul changing effect that comes from prayer and meditation. Turning to religion has helped many people throughout the ages. Spirituality brings a different kind of focus to the mind and can help a person to stay calm and collected in trying times. This can also include taking up yoga and practicing it every morning. Get a comfortable yoga mat and tear away at all that stress.
If your issue has more to do with insomnia then you may need to take a different approach. Focus on making your bed a comforting place and not a place for worrisome thoughts. When its time for sleep, keep those thoughts at bay. Give yourself a designated time every day to think about your problems. This is ideally going to be several hours before bedtime. Then as the day comes to a close you are more preoccupied with rest than all else. Set up your bed in an inviting manner. Get some soft satin sheets. Also make sure to wear comfortable clothes that aid in relaxing your body for a good sleep session. Another tip many people find helpful is using an air purifier. Air purifiers are relatively cheap and help to condition the air. Good quality air in the room you are sleeping is very conducive to good quality sleep.
If these tips fail for you, we have more advanced resources to support you. Speak to one of our dedicated counselors today. We have handpicked therapists and other mental health professionals who have proven to be reliable, caring and patient with past clients.
Whatever disorder you may have picked up from this horrific pandemic, it is very possible to come out from this stronger than ever before. Treat your issues seriously and be proactive about them. You have come way too far to give up now.