Anxiety and Depression have been steadily rising in children and adults for the last ten years.
The explosion of access to mobile media has greatly influenced how and what stimulates our thoughts and feelings throughout our day and week. The Covid-19 pandemic hit when we were already struggling as a culture with physical and mental health problems and the pandemic life has exacerbated stress for most of the population. Some certainly have suffered greatly in terms of loss from Covid related deaths and illness as well as loss of job, identity, and social life. Daily routines were upended with stay-at-home orders and our dependence upon school schedules to provide families with predictable days was not dependable.
As creatures of habit, most of us enjoy and thrive off of routine and we find ourselves questioning the outcome of every day. Whether you have lost a job, money, or a loved one in the past year, it is been a lot to handle. The influx of very serious emotions; loss, vulnerability, isolation, and fear has brought to light our mental health crisis of these issues that have been prevalent for years. With a spotlight on these issues, we are challenged to face this crisis and work on finding solutions. Below are some of the main reasons we’ve seen an increase in mental health issues during the past year.
Loss is a necessary part of human life and at one time or another, everyone has experienced some type of loss. Whether that of a loved one, a job, maybe even a pet, it impacts our thoughts and actions. What we are not used to, is the feeling of constant loss due to a global pandemic. We have been confronted every day hoping with the possibility of losing someone or something we care about deeply. This has created a lot of anxiety for people, a mental health issue that has become increasingly common due to Covid-19.
Feeling vulnerable can be extremely unsettling. During this pandemic, we are vulnerable to a deadly virus, vulnerable to getting laid off, and vulnerable when it comes to how we are feeling. Our collective concern about vaccines whether to get or not or when and how our community has responded is still a significant stressor. The United States has endured the highest unemployment rate since the Great Recession, leaving you vulnerable to possibly losing your job, or experiencing your role very differently because of remote working conditions. Worry about your job then leaves you vulnerable to the unknown; how will I afford to live? Will I be able to find another job? Will I be able to manage the changes in my professional life? Being vulnerable to these daily experiences is one inherent cause of the increase in anxiety symptoms that can develop into patterns of behavior that cause physical and mental distress.
We were forced to isolate ourselves from work, school, family, and friends throughout this pandemic to keep each other safe. This can wear on a person’s psyche as humans we really need social interaction from friends, coworkers, classmates, or family. Our seasonal and holiday rituals were put on pause. Many people reached out for individual contact through therapy to find there were few providers available. Many people going out to their fire escape to connect with our voices or the sound of bells etc. We have been desperate for simple connection and conversation face to face, without a mask. This has been so challenging in an entirely new way that our coping skills have been tested and depleted, leaving us with residual anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Waking up every day afraid is a horrifying way to live, and unfortunately, this is how we’ve been living due to Covid-19. We are scared of contracting the virus, someone we love getting exposed, how will our careers change, and so many other stressful thoughts that this global pandemic has provoked. Fear leads to the questioning; how much longer will this last? What will happen if I contract Covid-19? How will I afford to live if I lose my job? Being afraid is a very serious component of the mental health crisis happening.
Making Your Mental Health a Priority
These intense emotions we are all feeling regularly can lead to serious stress patterns that reinforce anxiety and depression, even in those who have had little experience with them previously. The time to make our mental health a priority is part of the crisis this country is experiencing. At Room to Move, we offer a sustainable, individualized approach to managing stress and taking charge of your mental health. We offer family consults as well as individual courses to self-regulate and manage daily stress. Check out our consultations to learn more about finding the room to move throughout our days and weeks to feel better and be better.