Helping Your Mental Health Survive The Pandemic

Woman smiling during isolation

Helping Your Mental Health Survive The Pandemic

In March of 2022, we will have been living in the pandemic for a total of two years. Throughout this period, millions of us have experienced the impact of the pandemic in different ways. No aspect of our everyday lives has gone unaffected. How we work, shop, travel, and even how we celebrate our holidays. Each day has found many living in a state of uncertainty and anxiety about their health, their families, and the state of the world ahead. In the past month along an additional million cases of COVID have appeared, so it’s clear the pandemic isn’t over yet. We’ve seen all sides of humanity during this period, including divisionist behavior and how communities can come together to help each other. Another outcome has been a significant impact on our mental health, whose scope is growing.

Helping Your Mental Health Survive The Pandemic

One important thing to recall is that no two individuals will respond to the stressors of the pandemic in the same way. Our families, jobs, and especially our own propensities can significantly affect how our mental health is maintained. The stress, isolation, and significant loss of life have made many patients experience Pandemic PTSD. While many of these people will begin healing when the pandemic eases, and we adjust to our new normal, others will have lasting complications. Those who are experiencing the following symptoms may be suffering from PTSD:

  • Traumatic experiences being relived in their mind
  • Anxiety and avoidance being triggered by new events
  • Heightened levels of upset and emotional response

These symptoms may occur at various points without an obvious trigger. However, these symptoms may occur more often when a triggering event happens. Those experiencing PTSD may struggle with managing their emotions and remembering the social rules for navigating difficult situations.

PTSD cannot be cured, though there are numerous effective treatment methods available. These treatments do not eliminate the symptoms of PTSD but instead teach management methods for addressing them. A few common treatment methods used for PTSD include:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy – Thorough analysis of the event that leads to the development of PTSD and looking to see if they’re based in fact can help. The trauma and pain of the initiating event definitely occurred, but acknowledging that it is not recurring is necessary. CPT patients work to anchor themselves in the present and a true view of current events.
  • Exposure Therapy – Going forward into a post-pandemic world is going to be just as challenging as adjusting to a world in a pandemic. When the time comes, those struggling with it can attempt to adjust with short visits. Increasing the length of these trips out, and increasing the size of the places visits, can help.
  • Medication – Medication can serve as a useful tool while we adjust back to a post-pandemic world. They can also be useful for managing anxiety during the pandemic.

With the pandemic still very much in effect, it’s necessary to take good care of your mental health.  

Speak to Your Mental Health Provider Today

Speaking to your mental health provider is an important step in avoiding the onset of pandemic-related PTSD. As of this date, the Omicron variant is in full effect and is spreading rapidly. Speak to your mental health provider to determine if telehealth visits are available so you can seek help from the safety of your own home.

Avoiding pandemic-related PTSD is best achieved by getting help before it has a chance to lay down roots. With that in mind, remember that the pandemic is still in effect as the Omicron virus makes its rounds. Contact your mental health provider and speak to them about telehealth visits if you feel you’re struggling with the strain of life in the pandemic.

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April is the founder of Prestige Mental Health and is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who is qualified to practice primary care and psychiatry. She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. April specializes in psychiatric illnesses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD/trauma, bipolar, and schizophrenia.