Mental Illness plus dealing with Covid19 can be very stressful
Quarantining during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is definitely stressful for people with Depression.
Fear and anxiety about any disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
Here is some help coping with stress will make you and the people you care about, and our community stronger.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
Fear and worry about your own MH health issues and the overall 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
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Children and teens
People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance useWays to cope with stress
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Take care of your body
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Know the facts to help reduce stress
Sharing the facts about COVID-19. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them.
For people at higher risk for serious illness
People at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, and people with underlying health conditions are also at increased risk of stress due to COVID-19. Special considerations include:
Older adults and people with disabilities are at increased risk for having mental health concerns, such as depression.
Mental health problems can present as physical complaints (such as headaches or stomachaches) or cognitive problems (such as having trouble concentrating).
Doctors may be more likely to miss mental health concerns among
People with disabilities due to a focus on treating underlying health conditions, compared to people without disabilities.
Older adults because depression can be mistaken for a normal part of aging
Common reactions to COVID-19
Concern about protecting oneself from the virus because they are at higher risk of serious illness.
Concern that regular medical care or community services may be disrupted due to facility closures or reductions in services and public transport closure.
Feeling socially isolated, especially if they live alone or are in a community setting that is not allowing visitors because of the outbreak.
Guilt if loved ones help them with activities of daily living.
Increased levels of distress if they:
Have mental health concerns before the outbreak, such as depression.
Live in lower-income households or have language barriers
Experience stigma because of age, race or ethnicity, disability, or perceived likelihood of spreading COVID-19.
Support your loved ones
Check in with your loved ones often. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Consider connecting with loved ones by:
Mailing letters or cards
Video chat (Zoom)
Help keep your loved ones safe
Know what medications your loved one is taking. Try to help them have a 4-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications. and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
Monitor other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
Stock up on non-perishable food (canned foods, dried beans, pasta) to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, and speak with facility administrators or staff over the phone. Ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
Take care of your own emotional health. Caring for a loved one can take an emotional toll, especially during an outbreak like COVID-19. There are ways to support yourself.
Stay home if you are sick. Do not visit family or friends who are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Use virtual communication to keep in touch to support your loved one and keep them safe.
What health care providers can do
Help connect people with family and loved ones to help lower distress and feelings of social isolation.
Let older adults and people with disabilities know it is common for people to feel distressed during a crisis. Remind them that asking for and accepting help is a sign of strength.
Have a procedure and referrals ready for anyone who shows severe distress or expresses a desire to hurt him- or herself or someone else.
See SAMHSA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Informationexternal icon.
What communities can do
Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.
Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.
Long-term care facilities should be vigilant to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. See guidance for long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
For people coming out of quarantine
It can be stressful to be separated from others if a healthcare provider thinks you may have been exposed to COVID-19, even if you do not get sick. Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine.
Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include
Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious
Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
Other emotional or mental health changes
Children may also feel upset or have other strong emotions if they, or someone they know, has been released from quarantine.
Watch for symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
Everyone Should Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home as much as possible.
Put distance between yourself and other people.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
box tissue icon
Cover coughs and sneezes
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, (mask) remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household will work.
See all Frequently Asked Questions in link below, resources and guidance.
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