The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is causing widespread panic in global communities, evoking severe depression and anxiety in many people, regardless of whether or not they have previously experienced them.
At Achieve TMS, we want to help our patients and their families stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, so they can effectively manage their physical and mental wellbeing during this challenging time. As part of our efforts, we want to teach people how to manage depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis properly.
How Can the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause Depression and Anxiety?
Depression is an ongoing feeling of sadness or disinterest, with physical and emotional symptoms that range from mild to severe. Anxiety is a feeling that is a normal part of life and occurs when people feel worried or concerned. When people continuously feel worried or fearful, they may be dealing with an anxiety disorder or depression.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease, and everyone is being urged to do their part to slow and stop its spread. The White House has recommended people use social distancing to combat COVID-19.
Social distancing may help reduce and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but it can also lead to emotional distancing that causes people to stay away from all others, as much as possible. When social and emotional distancing occur at the same time, people may feel extremely isolated, resulting in associated depression and anxiety.
Along with social distancing, concerns about work, school, and other everyday activities are escalating due to COVID-19. People are becoming worried about how they will survive and provide for their families during the crisis and after it ends. Yet, the coronavirus crisis is evolving daily, and a lack of concrete answers to questions about the present and future may cause depression and anxiety levels to rise.
There is also a rush among many people to pick up water, bathroom tissue, antibacterial hand soap, and other essential products due to the coronavirus. As people stock up on what they consider to be essential supplies to survive the coronavirus outbreak, shortages occur, and others are left without any supplies. This increases the risk of depression and anxiety, both among those who want to gather as many supplies as quickly as possible, along with those who believe they don’t have the supplies they need to stay safe throughout the pandemic.
Finally, news reports are 24/7, as the coronavirus continues to spread. The media strives to provide timely, accurate coronavirus updates, but some of their reports can be scary and frightening since they involve reporting on illness and death among large populations around the world. This may lead people to feel severe depression and anxiety, as they worry about themselves and their loved ones, and empathize with others dealing with the coronavirus globally.
How to Properly Manage Depression and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If people experience severe depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic to the point where they feel suicidal or are constantly thinking about death or suicide, call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Remember, no one is alone during the coronavirus pandemic, and immediate help is available to help people cope with depression and anxiety at this difficult time.
Although social distancing is requested to help reduce and stop the spread of the coronavirus, people can still go outdoors. Those feeling depressed and anxious because they’ve remained indoors for long periods of time can experience the sights and sounds outside of their homes. When outdoors, continue to be socially distant, and stay at least 6 feet away from all others.
It may be tempting to follow the continuous COVID-19 news coverage, but the depression and anxiety this coverage can cause may be overwhelming. If the news gets to be too much, take a break from it. Instead, watch a funny or soothing TV show or movie to help take the mind off of the coronavirus crisis.
Regular phone and video chats with family members and friends can be beneficial throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as well. Loved ones can help people feel supported during the coronavirus crisis, as well as offer guidance and care to help them manage their depression and anxiety symptoms.
Exercise can be helpful when dealing with depression and anxiety. Mobile apps allow people to practice yoga and engage in other workouts via a smartphone or tablet. With these workouts, people may ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Finally, telemedicine is a powerful technology that can deliver meaningful results. With telemedicine appointments, people can seek help from mental health professionals from the comfort of home.
How Can Telemedicine Be Used to Help People Manage Depression and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Telemedicine involves the use of technology to connect to medical providers. By setting up a telemedicine appointment, a patient connects to a medical provider via a desktop or laptop computer or mobile device, then engages in a secure, real-time, face-to-face chat.
With telemedicine appointments, people can connect with mental health professionals without having to leave their homes. The appointments allow people to seek support with depression and anxiety while doing their part to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Achieve TMS provides HIPAA-compliant telemedicine appointments to patients throughout the coronavirus pandemic for initial consultations, evaluations, and follow-ups. Patients can begin the insurance approval process remotely today, so they are ready for treatment.
To learn more about the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to help manage depression and anxiety, please call or text us at 877-285-0822.