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COVID-19 & Mental Health: Coronavirus’ Impact On Mental Health

The UK is currently experiencing an unprecedented public health situation through the outbreak of COVID-19. Naturally, as the number of cases of the virus is growing in the UK by the day, panic and anxiety levels are growing amongst the general public. There has been heavy news coverage over previous weeks from the likes of China, Italy and now Spain; so people are more than aware at this point just how dangerous this virus could be following several months of media exposure. 

Moving forwards over the coming weeks we face a period of uncertainty, and for some people, the pressures we currently face can have a significant impact upon mental health and emotional wellbeing. But how is the Corona Virus impacting mental health? The entire nature of an invisible virus that has the possibility to kill a human is unsettling enough, without the additional pressures that the Coronovirus is creating for people across all of the world’s continents.  

Self-isolation and mental health

Countries such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are now on complete lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading between person to person. The UK government has also taken significant measures, recommending members of the public stay indoors as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus. Not only for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of picking up the virus and unintentionally passing it onto those who are less able to fight the symptoms. Although staying indoors is the safe option, we do need to address the impact of self-isolation on impact mental health.

Human beings naturally crave social relationships and human connection, so restricting access to family, friends and other important reference groups can leave individuals feeling somewhat empty. The uncertainty that lies ahead also escalates this feeling, as people are naturally worried about those they are close to contracting the virus and becoming sick. 

Spending too much time indoors, particularly for those who are more susceptible to poor mental health, can have a significant negative impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing. Exposure to daylight calibrates your body’s ‘circadian clock’ which regulates sleeping patterns, moods, energy levels and even appetite. Hence the reason too much time indoors can fuel anxiety, depression and insomnia. 

Being alone in times of such uncertainty often allows the thoughts in the brain to wander. So it’s natural to presume that having nobody to communicate these worries with can multiply the concerns that certain individuals face. That’s why we recommend any time you feel the need to talk to someone, either do so over the telephone or through digital methods to maintain regular communication with those close to you. 

If you feel like you need to speak to a professional about your mental health during this time, we offer online mental health assessments via a video call. 

COVID-19 is creating uncertainty

The element causing so much confusion around the Coronavirus, is nobody knows quite just what to expect in the coming weeks. Flights have been grounded, all major events have been put on hold for the foreseeable future, and nobody really knows when regular reality will resume without the intervention of the contagious coronavirus. 

There’s uncertainty about health, uncertainty about safety, uncertainty about the measures we should all be taking to remain as vigilant as possible in the fight of COVID-19. As the famous saying goes, ‘health is wealth’, and it’s understandable why nobody wants to catch this virus for themselves, their families or their friends. 

As the economy has come to somewhat of a hault, people are worried about their jobs and the financial problems that arise from this. Can I afford my bills? Can I provide for my family in this desperate time of need? The list goes on. These are the pressures that certain individuals and families out there are currently facing. Significant worries such as these can obviously have an impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing. The all-round uncertainty of what is to come is a key factor in why COVID-19 is affecting mental health.  

Vulnerable people are at risk from COVID-19

Those who are already facing mental health problems face the greatest risk to an even further decrease in their mental state. An individual suffering from a condition such as anxiety, depression or even paranoid schizophrenia may find that emotions and fears can be heightened in extreme measures during a national or global pandemic.

COVID-19 has had a direct impact upon many aspects of life that certain individuals naturally struggle with; such as relationships, work pressures, finances, health, those around them and much more. So, if you suffer from a mental health condition, or know anybody who does, it’s important to be extra vigilant during the breakout of COVID-19.

Things you can do to support your mental health during COVID-19

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories relating to Corona Virus
  • Don’t spend too much time on social media. Constant exposure to COVID-19 can easily increase levels of panic
  • Exercise at home! Exercise releases endorphins in the brain which can directly combat low mental health and wellbeing 
  • Alternatively, take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
  • Try to eat healthy and well-balanced meals
  • Try to get plenty of sleep 
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Try to do some other activities you enjoy that take your mind off current ongoings
  • Connect with others in your home. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • Connect with your friends and loved ones that don’t live with you over the phone or on FaceTime.

Does COVID-19 affect mental health?

The answer quite simply is yes. If you don’t make the necessary adjustments in these uncertain times; the mind can quite easily abscond to a lesser state. The natural panic that a global pandemic unearths is a rare feeling for many, and dealing with this feeling can be very difficult to ignore. 

As previously mentioned, the Coronavirus can lead to a number of worries across many different aspects of life. As these worries can have a severely significant impact on the wellbeing of most of us, we are sure to see a spike in mental health cases and mental illnesses over the coming weeks or months. 

Covid-19 Mental Health Support 

Claimont offers private mental health support services for a number of conditions to help you live happily and healthily. Specific treatment programmes are designed for our clients that are bespoke to their needs, helping them combat the specific symptoms they face. If you feel like you need support with your mental health during COVID-19, simply contact us today for a discussion with a friendly member of our team.