What a second coronavirus lock could do for mental health

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Senior mental health official warns that there may be an increase in suicides, fatal drug overdoses and cases of domestic violence, in addition to more general mental health stressors, if the United States go through a second COVID-19 lock (Design: Nathalie Cruz for Yahoo Life)
Senior mental health official warns that there may be an increase in suicides, fatal drug overdoses and cases of domestic violence, in addition to more general mental health stressors, if the United States go through a second COVID-19 lock (Design: Nathalie Cruz for Yahoo Life)

The Americans are finally starting to go out again, and it’s a huge mental liberation after being under the warrant to stay home for several weeks. But public health officials are here with a warning: we could be locked again, and it could be terrible for mental health.

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Addiction, said at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that there may be an increase in the number of suicides, fatal drug overdoses and cases of domestic violence, in addition to more general cases. mental health stressors, if the United States goes through a second COVID-19 lockout.

“I really hope we don’t do it again. I don’t see the science to back it up, “she said of the case, Wall Street newspaper. “We have to discuss the risks versus the benefits of taking action, and I would say we wouldn’t want to take the same approach. “

It is important to note that China has just imposed another Wuhan lock in the northeast region of the country after the region saw a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. A second lockout can certainly happen in the United States as well, says Dr. Richard Watkins, an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, to Yahoo Life. “It will depend on whether we see an increase in infections after the reopening,” he said. But there is a chance that things will not get completely locked out again. “I think we will see much more specific social distancing recommendations and not some other type of termination if cases get out of control in any part of the country,” said Johns lead researcher Dr. Amesh A. Adalja Hopkins. Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Life.

Either way, life could change – again. This raises a huge question: what does this mean for mental health?

“A second lockout will be considered very defeatist for the public. The feeling will prevail that the virus will win, and it will stimulate despair and great despair “, John Mayer, PhD, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance In Life, says Yahoo Life.

“People are already struggling with the isolation and fatigue of their 40s. They’re feeling overwhelmed, “said Thea Gallagher, PsyD, clinical director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to Yahoo Life. “It will be difficult to adjust to a” normal “life and then go back to locking.”

Change is difficult for most people, says Gallagher, and it is disturbing that there are so many changes in such a short time. “I hope we slowly adjust to real life, so if we have to go back to the lock it won’t be as shocking,” she said. But doing a second lockdown “can make people feel like it’s endless,” she said, adding, “the uncertainty of it will be more difficult a second time. It can even trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety, she said.

People may even have physical symptoms. Weight gain and lethargy are common at times like this, says Gallagher.

While it may seem overwhelming to even think about the idea of ​​a second lock, it doesn’t need to. “I keep telling patients,” We are much better at handling these things than we think, “said Gallagher. “Keep telling yourself that” I did it once, I can do it again. “”

The fact that we’ve all gone through the front lockout can really work in our favor, says Gallagher. “The skills we have developed to adapt to them will help us adapt again to the locking life,” she says.

Gallagher encourages people to “hang on” to what’s going on right now and to accept that there will be a lot of uncertainty in the weeks, months and even years to come. “It is so easy to get ahead of ourselves and ask ourselves,” When can I go to this event? “Where” When can I go on vacation? ” “, She says. “Instead, take advantage of the good weather on the days when you have it, and look at the quarantine aspects you can take advantage of.” “

Gallagher recommends that everyone mentally prepare for another lockdown, but warns of obsession. “This is not necessarily going to happen. It’s important to address uncertainty, “she said.

And if you find that you are mentally ill, contact a mental health professional. “This is the perfect time to find a therapist – virtually,” says Gallagher.

Get general mental health information and locate treatment services in your area. Contact the Addiction Treatment and Mental Health Services Administration Referral Hotline at 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727). Talk to someone live, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. AND.

For the latest news and updates on coronaviruses, follow at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. Experts over the age of 60 and those who are immunocompromised remain the most exposed. If you have any questions, please refer to CDC and WHO resource guides.

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