- Posted by Jon Harju
- On October 8, 2020
Who would have imagined while preparing for March break 2020 that our children would not return to school for six months, businesses would close; many never to reopen again, workplaces would be forced to accept working from home as an accommodation, we would not have the freedom to enter and exit our homes at our discretion to visit friends, loved ones, go to a fitness class, get a haircut and so much more. In what seemed like an instance our world stopped as we quarantined in fear of a virus that was not clearly defined and had the power to put life as we knew it on hold. There was so much that we had taken for granted, the simple things life had offered were taken from us in an instance; all thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. As if the world was not already difficult to navigate- now another stressor to threaten not only our physical health but our mental wellness.
COVID 19 has brought with it enormous stressors and has limited or removed our access to many of the resources that were used for coping with stress. While for many the bonds have been strengthened due to taking a pause from the business of life which had taken a toll on the mental health of children, parents, and couples for others the stress of quarantine coupled with financial worries due to lost wages, working from home while attempting to navigate the virtual world of education and the inability to engage in much needed social relationship with friends and family have begun and continue to take a toll on all of our mental and physical well-being. Fear of the uncertainty of what the future will bring for businesses, education, the pursuit of sports and leisure, social relationships, the ability to connect with family and travel, not to mention our ongoing fear of contracting COVID all take a toll on us. The stressors continue to build and the research from medical, mental health, business, and education speaks to the second pandemic we are facing- the impact of COVID on mental health.
The result could be a “perfect storm” in reference to suicide, says Mark Reger, PhD, chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound Health Care Systems in Seattle and an associate profession of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at University of Washington School of Medicine. The impact of Covid on mental health and suicide continues to evolve.
The world is learning to manage an epidemiological and psychological crisis. The longstanding effects of social isolation, changes in our daily routines and lack of structure, job losses, changes in education, grief, and the loss of support systems from tutoring to fitness, nutrition, medical care and mental health add to the toll that this pandemic has taken.
It is important that we all acknowledge the impact of the changes that have occurred during this pandemic and what a better day than on World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Covid burnout, anxiety, panic, depression and risk for suicide.
Now and always it is important for us to support one another through openness and understanding that we are all in this together and the effect of mental illness on our lives does not discriminate much like the Covid19 virus.
While the Pandemic has brought much uncertainty and highlighted our vulnerabilities across every area of daily existence from business to academics, to fitness and family, it has also allowed us the opportunity to think outside the box in developing new ways of using technology to bring us together and allow us to continue to function within our work settings, education, homes, community, and most importantly our health care. We are living in uncertain times and during such, the need for all of us to feel connected and supported is of the utmost importance. It is time to use technology to its fullest extent in providing the opportunity to access quality mental and physical health care in the safety of our homes while not compromising on our wellness. If you are experiencing mental health symptoms such as these, step forward, and begin to gain control of your mental wellbeing. Snapclarity’s virtual treatment approaches can assist in providing you access to the assessment of your mental health needs.
A pandemic can leave you feeling alone, unheard, unguided, and unsure; however, know you are not alone, and help is only a click away. Set a positive intention to yourself to learn from the restriction imposed upon us over the past months and make a commitment to taking care of yourself and putting your mental and physical wellness first. Snap clarity is here to assist you on your journey to wellness. Come for answers…stay for guidance. Stay tuned- the clouds are the limit.”
Signs of anxiety:
- Persistent worry or feeling overwhelmed by emotions.
- Excessive worry about a number of concerns, such as health problems or finances, and a general sense that something bad is going to happen.
- Restlessness and irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and generally feeling on edge.
Signs of a panic attack:
- Sweating, trembling, shortness of breath or a feeling of choking.
- A pounding heart or rapid heart rate, and feelings of dread.
- Such attacks often happen suddenly, without warning.
- People who experience panic attacks often become fearful about when the next episode will occur, which can cause them to change or restrict their normal activities.
Signs of depression:
- A lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
- Lack of energy or an inability to concentrate.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Risk factors for suicide:
- Talking about dying or harming oneself.
- Recent loss through death, divorce, separation, even loss of interest in friends, hobbies and activities previously enjoyed.
- Changes in personality like sadness, withdrawal, irritability or anxiety.
- Changes in behavior, sleep patterns and eating habits.
- Erratic behavior, harming self or others.
- Low self-esteem including feelings of worthlessness, guilt or self-hatred.
- No hope for the future, believing things will never get better or nothing will change.
Crisis Services Canada 833-456-4566 SMS: 45645
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868