The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing different types of losses for people across the globe. By developing the ability to cope with loss in a healthy way, people can manage depression, anxiety, and other associated feelings.
How Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause Loss?
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many people to experience severe loss, in multiple forms, at the same time.
COVID-19 has created widespread uncertainty. There is no telling when the pandemic will end, and no one knows for sure how life will change after the crisis. This uncertainty may cause people to experience a loss of hope, leading them to accept the current circumstances as the new reality for life following the pandemic.
People are urged to stay indoors, socially distance themselves from others, and avoid gatherings of 10 or more people to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Pressure to follow these guidelines is causing many people to feel like they have lost the freedom to be themselves, do what they would typically do, and spend time with family members, friends, and others inside or outside of their homes.
While people are encouraged to remain at home until the coronavirus pandemic passes, their employers are experiencing revenue losses and lost productivity. As a result, companies are increasingly cutting back employee wages, furloughing workers, or laying off staff altogether. The loss of jobs and wages on account of the pandemic is putting additional stress on people who are now being forced to look for a new job, although many employers are not hiring due to the crisis. Many people are also now required to homeschool their children and/or provide full-time daycare for children who previously went to daycare part-time or full-time.
In addition, financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic may lead people to cut back on spending. As people limit their grocery spending, they may drastically modify their diet as they try to get through the pandemic. If significant dietary restrictions are implemented in a short period of time, people may experience extreme weight loss (or weight gain) that can contribute to serious health problems.
There is also a loss of purpose that people may suffer due to their inability to go to work, earn a paycheck, help an employer achieve its goals, afford groceries, and purchase other essential items for their families. This loss may lead to depression and anxiety, along with associated substance abuse and the use of other unsafe and ineffective coping mechanisms.
The impending doom that goes along with the thought of what may happen if people contract COVID-19 may result in the loss of happiness and joy. In this instance, the fear of how to properly self-quarantine and avoid infecting others can cause people to worry excessively about something that may not even happen. It can also incite fears of financial losses and other challenges that people may face as they try to manage a COVID-19 infection.
The loss of a loved one is the most devastating loss of all during the pandemic. Although people may practice social distancing, wear a cloth face mask when they go out in public, and perform other measures to protect themselves and others against the spread of the coronavirus, there is still a chance that they or someone they know will get infected. If a family member or friend gets infected by the coronavirus, people may experience grief, sadness, and other feelings associated with the loss of a loved one, even though this loved one may survive. And if a loved one passes due to the coronavirus, these feelings may escalate. Feelings could linger for months and years and make it exceedingly difficult for people to return to their everyday lives once the coronavirus pandemic ends.
What Is the Relationship Between Loss and Depression and Anxiety?
A traumatic or stressful event like the loss of a loved one, job, or other losses during the coronavirus pandemic may trigger symptoms of depression.
Common depression symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, feelings of self-blame and guilt, and physical problems like back pain and headaches.
If depression symptoms go undiagnosed and untreated, they can make it tough for people to function. In severe cases, depression may even lead to recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
How to Deal with Different Kinds of Loss and Find More Hope During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The best way to manage loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic varies based on the type of loss and other factors.
For people who experience loss of hope, it is crucial to be mindful of the present and keep the coronavirus pandemic in perspective. Eventually, the pandemic will end, and people will be able to resume regular activities. The world may change due to the crisis, but for the time being, all people can do is manage the here and now.
It may be challenging to stay in the present throughout the pandemic, but mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation may help people do just that. Connecting with family members and friends via phone or video chat may also help people feel hopeful and provide hope to others during this difficult time.
Engaging with loved ones is a great way to manage loss of freedom due to the coronavirus crisis, too. People can use mobile apps to play games, learn new skills, and remotely stay in touch with others to help cope with loss of freedom.
Meanwhile, to cope with loss of employment or wages due to the coronavirus pandemic, search for jobs online. People can also update their resumes and take advantage of free online classes available from a myriad of websites to enhance their skills. They may even find opportunities to work remotely or discover new career opportunities.
Financial challenges may seem overwhelming during the COVID-19 pandemic, but options are available to help temporarily manage these challenges. Filing for unemployment right away may be beneficial for those without a job, as the number of unemployment claims is increasing, and filing immediately boosts the likelihood of getting a claim approved as soon as possible. In terms of making short-term financial improvements, searching for grocery coupons online may help people find ways to reduce their food costs. People can separate non-essential and essential expenses and revamp their budgets accordingly as well.
To combat loss of purpose, try to embrace every day as a new opportunity. People can establish daily goals, and develop a routine that allows them to gain traction toward making their aspirations come true. It may also be beneficial to focus on the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of loved ones during the coronavirus. If people strive to support family members and friends, they can have a meaningful impact on the lives of their loved ones.
Should a loved one passes away due to the coronavirus, keep in mind that the grieving process can be long, and it differs from person to person. Everyone grieves at their own pace, and it is important to experience sadness and other feelings associated with grief. By feeling grief, people can gain the strength they need to ultimately accept the loss of a loved one and move forward. To cope with difficult feelings, it may be helpful to write a letter to a deceased loved one, journal about thoughts and feelings associated with the loss, and share feelings about the loss with family members and friends. Along with these measures, meeting with a mental health professional and pursuing medical support for feelings of depression and anxiety during this time may be beneficial.
Therapists are available to meet with patients online now, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Psychiatrists are providing medication management services online via HIPAA-compliant telemedicine. Achieve TMS, the leading provider of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy in the United States, is also offering HIPAA-compliant telemedicine appointments.
Finally, if any type of loss during the coronavirus pandemic causes ongoing thoughts of death or suicide, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. We are all dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Emergency help is available to those who find a loss becomes too much to handle at this time.
Figuring out how to deal with loss due to the COVID-19 is a significant challenge for many people right now. Those who know how to cope with loss may be able to manage this hurdle and any others that come their way throughout the crisis.
Achieve TMS is here to support our patients and their families during this challenging period. For those who want to pursue TMS therapy, we are offering HIPAA-compliant telemedicine appointments for those seeking consultations, evaluations, and follow-ups, and daily treatment that follows all CDC guidelines.
Since insurance companies may experience delays due to the pandemic, we encourage you to begin the insurance approval process as soon as you can.
For more information about TMS therapy, please contact us online, or call us today at 877-296-4968.