The Lasting Impact of Coronavirus
With the economy predicted to bounce back by the end of 2021 and many people recovering from the illness after a few weeks, it can seem like much of the impact of coronavirus is short-lived. However, for thousands of people across the UK, there is a severe and long-lasting impact of coronavirus unseen by even the closest friends and family – mental health issues.
Isolation, financial struggles and concerns over health can all cause serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. If these aren’t addressed, then they can leave a lasting impact on a person’s mindset, leaving them plunged in fear, hopelessness and sadness.
If you fear you may be facing one of these mental health issues, then please keep reading. As an experienced therapist, I understand the toll lockdown and Covid-19 has taken on people’s mental health. I also know the best ways you can work on your mental health to push the symptoms of depression and anxiety away and overcome the issues for good.
A study by the University of Bath has shown the real, lasting impact of coronavirus. Of the 800 participants, 25% had significantly elevated anxiety and depression levels brought on by lockdown and isolation. Being forced to stay in our homes and away from friends and family has severely impacted our social interaction. Not all of us can pick up a phone or facetime with our loved ones. And as the lockdown dragged on for weeks (and has been brought back in place for some smaller parts of the UK), people were unable to talk, see and interact with others for an unnatural length of time.
There has been an undeniable impact on the economy of the UK as a result of Covid-19. The UK has fallen into a recession for the first time since 2011, businesses have gone bust, employees on furlough or let go and many people are scared of the uncertain future. All of these situations can contribute to the development of depression or anxiety, causing someone to feel worried and hopeless in the face of their reality. And, as these mental health issues develop further, the negative thoughts and emotions can overwhelm any thoughts of finding new jobs, making savings plans or finding help.
In the study by the University of Bath, it was also found that 15% of the 800 participants reached clinical levels of health anxiety, which is the fear of contracting a severe illness despite medical reassurance. This is three times what is considered to be the normal level of clinical health anxiety in the population.
As we hear new statistics and read fake news online every day, there is no surprise that people are panicking about their health. The elderly and vulnerable are most at risk, but Covid-19 has the chance of being severely harmful to anybody. As a result of health anxiety, you may be avoiding going back to work, leaving the house and seeing others even as restrictions ease. This can lead to further isolation and depression, sending you further down a spiral of mental health issues.
Ease Back Into the World
Don’t let depression and anxiety prevent you from experiencing the real world again as infection rates lower, and more aspects of the lockdown being lifted. Your depression and health anxiety will be telling you to stay at home and in bed away from the rest of the world. However, you need to understand that this isn’t your rational mind talking, but a mental health issue instead.
Try visiting a neighbour in their home (if you are allowed to in your area), or at a local coffee shop for half an hour. Or, if you aren’t ready to leave your home yet, ask a friend or family to come to see you. Perhaps you can talk to your boss about staying at home to work, citing your performance during the lockdown. This will prevent you from panicking when entering the office too soon. Start small during the first few weeks, before you work your way up to a meal out with friends and even introduce yourself back into the office when you feel ready.
If you still struggle to find the willpower to take these small steps yourself or face the reality of your depression or anxiety, then therapy is ideal. Therapy can help you understand the nature of depression and anxiety, how it affects you and why you developed these mental health issues. Once you know more about these mental health issues, you can have the confidence to work at chipping away symptoms, thoughts and feelings which it brings on.
As a therapist in the North West, I have vast experience with several clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. Seeing my clients experience their mental health issues during Covid-19, I have also gained an understanding of what tactics and advice work best to help you along your journey to a better mindset during these uncertain times.
Please check out my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. Finding happiness again isn’t as easy as manifesting it into the world. It can take a lot of effort to overcome mental health issues and look towards a better future. With the support of a therapist, this process can be easier as you have someone else fighting on your side and providing you with the support you need to succeed.