The COVID-19 pandemic has by far been the greatest challenge and crisis that the world has faced since World War 2. This period of uncertainty has affected the mental health of almost every individual in various different ways. In fact, mental health is an emerging crisis during this pandemic. Economic uncertainty, financial uncertainty due to job losses, social isolation, schooling children from home, cancelled vacations etc are many reasons that are taking a toll on the mental health of human beings. All these reasons collectively have put various societies in the world in a state of trauma.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56% of American adults say worry or stress has led to problems with eating and sleep schedules, increased consumption of alcohol, an increase in diseases which all negatively affect their mental health. Many teenagers have started feeling sad and hopeless about their futures which act as an added stress thereby affecting their mental health.
Panic attacks, anxiety, depression and signs of suicidal thoughts all indicate that an individual’s mental health is declining and they should reach out for help. Many people have been suffering with either one or more of these illnesses during this pandemic. Everyone has been finding different ways to cope with their declining mental health. However, during this pandemic very little is in our control. The only things that are in control are our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Even some of these are not always entirely under our control.
Negative mental health effects begin immediately but they can last over a long period of time which is why it is necessary for everyone to deal with them accordingly and at their earliest. However, in such a time during a pandemic it is hard to get mental health care due to lack of finance available, lack of access as well as a shortage of mental health professionals. It is also hard to seek therapy online as compared to an in person session which is more comfortable.
Choosing healthy behaviors for one’s own self such as going outside and breathing some fresh air, exercising, spending some time under the sun, eating healthy can all create endorphins which help the body feel good and automatically put you in a better mood. People have also been seeking support and ongoing therapy; many people still do not understand what therapy actually is. It is mostly shunned upon by society but in reality therapy is just like any other educational activity where the therapist helps you think in different ways so that you can think in a more positive manner.
Due to the negativity associated with mental health, many people do not believe in mental illnesses and never come forward with how they have been feeling. Their negative thought patterns keep building up inside them causing their mental health to decline even further. However, lately many celebrities and influencers have been coming forward and talking about their mental health which is giving a lot of people the confidence to talk about their struggles and seek help. It is okay to not be okay sometimes. However, it is most certainly not okay to sit idle and do nothing about our struggles during this pandemic. No one is alone; we are all going to come out of this pandemic as a healthier and stronger community.