Anxiety Treatment, Stress, & Depression During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Stonewater Recovery · 2 minute read
Are you worried about your anxiety treatment or your ability to maintain your mental health in the face of the Coronavirus madness? The fact that you're thinking about the connection between these stressful times and your history with anxiety is a good thing. It shows you're aware of what stress can do to your life and your anxious tendencies.
Anxiety as a Trigger for Depression During Stressful TimesWhen you look at the overviews of scientific research , there are clear connections between stress, anxiety, and depression. You can experience all three of those conditions independent of the others, but they often appear together. Anxiety is often a precursor to depression. If you suffer from anxiety, you're at a higher risk of experiencing major depression after a stressful life event. Traumatic experiences and disasters are known to stimulate anxiety and depression as well as PTSD and drug use. Everyone experiences stress in daily life, but there are situations like the outbreak of a worldwide pandemic that amplify that stress to extreme levels. If you already suffer from anxiety and/or depression, your response to these major life stressors could make the difference between a relapse into substance use and a big leap forward on the path to recovery. Your anxiety treatment plan is critical to ensuring you come out stronger and sober.
Anxiety, Depression, and the Coronavirus PandemicOn March 18, 2020, The New York Times ran an article listing 10 ways to ease Coronavirus anxiety. Even people who didn't suffer from anxiety before the pandemic hit are now experiencing it at high levels. When you consider the orders to shelter in place and maintain social distance, that anxiety can easily lead to depression due to lack of social support and companionship. For those who don't take the time to go outside for socially distant walks, the lack of vitamin D and fresh air can contribute to anxiety and depression even more. If you already suffer from anxiety before COVID-19, you're more at risk for experiencing heightened levels of anxiety. These problems could have a long-lasting impact on your mental health and overall quality of life. The Coronavirus panic has introduced a growing list of stressors into the daily life of most people, including:
- Social isolation
- Heightened abuse at home
- Lost jobs or reduced hours
- Unsustainable at-home work arrangements
- Boredom due to quarantine
- Increased anger, tension from other people
- Reduced daily activity levels
Anxiety Treatment Options During the Coronavirus PandemicIf you already have an anxiety treatment plan, it's important to maintain those routines even if your daily schedule shifts significantly during the pandemic. Here are some things you can do to manage your anxiety and reduce the risk of it leading to depression and possibly a relapse:
- Refill your medication as soon as possible. Worrying about your ability to refill those medications during a shutdown will only lead to more anxiety.
- Take your medication the same way you did prior to the virus outbreak. Your daily schedule may change, but your medication times should not.
- Increase the time you spend exercising. Physical movement is proven to improve your mood and boost confidence, and you need both right now. If your gym has shut down, find ways to exercise at home or find a local park.
- Eat as healthy as possible. It's more difficult to find a lot of foods right now and you may have financial restrictions, but fresh fruits and vegetables will help.