For those with pre-existing mental health conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing increased stress and anxiety.
Reactions to the crisis can include but are not limited to:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased heart rate
- Upset stomach
- Excessive handwashing for long durations such as those who experience OCD
When a crises arises, we tend to try to find all information available and want to know everything about it as information arises, but this is not always good for our mental health.
Our exposure to COVID-19 is still in early stages, and many health officials as well as experts are still experimenting with different causes, vaccines, and ideas. This leads to too much information and can overwhelm us. Every hour there is going to be something new. Remain calm, and try to stay informed without being overwhelmed.
The World Health Organization has acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic is generating stress, and has advised people to avoid watching, reading, or listening to news that causes anxiety or distress. Don't ignore the problem, but don't overwhelm yourself either.
Overwhelming ourselves can lead to panic attacks, as the main cause of panic attacks is excessive worrying for unsubstantiated reasons. As of right now the percentage of people with confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US is relatively low. Don't allow the anxiety of contracting the disease to cause more problems than it warrants at the moment.
If you feel you need to speak to a professional, please refer to our Resources page.