The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted the lives of millions of Americans in many ways and has taken its toll physically and mentally on millions of Americans across the country. But for people who suffer from mental health issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new wave of panic, chaos, stress, and uncertainty.
More than 2 million Americans are estimated to be affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (“OCD”), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Nearly 7 million people in the U.S. are affected by generalized anxiety disorder and about 6 million people in the U.S. are affected by panic disorder. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause stress in both adults and children.
Stress during COVID-19 might include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family are all ways to minimize stress. Ways to cope with stress might include:
- Taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media
- Taking care of your body
- Making time to unwind every day
- Connecting with others
- Getting the help or support you need from professionals
If you notice warning signs in yourself or a loved one, reach out for help. Many treatment facilities are now offering telemedicine to help patients maintain routines and continuity of treatment.
Some helpful resources include:
The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Coping with Coronavirus: Managing Stress, Fear, and Anxiety, Director’s Messages (National Institute of Mental Health/NIH)
Stress and Coping, Coronavirus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) (NIH)
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness and you are being denied benefits by your insurance, please call Kantor & Kantor for a free consultation at 800-446-7529 or use our online contact form. We understand, and we can help.