Updated: Apr 16
There’s no doubt about it, COVID has had a significant impact on almost all areas of your life. The societal changes of where we can go and how we can do social events and gatherings appear to be the most profound impact on our daily lives, however, what about the effect of COVID on our mental health? Now, more than ever, people are seeking out counseling and therapy for the disturbance that COVID has upon their lives. There comes a point that, no matter how “strong” or resourceful you are, you just aren’t able to deal with things any more on own the way you normally do. Here are 4 important ways that COVID may be impacting your mental health.
COVID Causes Anxiety
Yep, COVID and the effects of it on your life can directly cause you to have or increase your anxiety. Even if you have never before been prone to anxious thoughts you are unable to control, this situation will likely bring your worries and concerns for both the present and the future to light. For those of you who have struggled with anxiety and its impact on your life in the past, COVID is likely enhancing your usual anxious thinking patterns, possibly even to the point of creating fear for your future. There are so many things to be anxious about now: Will I, or my loved ones, get coronavirus? If so, what will it look like? What if I can’t work for a while? Who will take care of my kids? How will we get food?
Even if you’re not as concerned about getting coronavirus yourself, there is still much to be anxious about. When will I have to/get to return to the office? What will school look like? How can I support my friends/family if I can’t see them? When will we be able to go to our usual sporting or social events? Anxiety is, at its base, a fear of the future and what will happen. So when we don’t know what is happening with the future and COVID’s impact on the future, your anxiety tends to spike. Increased anxiety can cause a whole plethora of other problems in your life, including but not limited to sleep problems, difficulty concentrating and focusing at work, and relationship problems with your partner and/or family.
COVID Causes Depression
COVID can be a direct trigger to depression. I call this particular type of depression, that is directly related to the results of the coronavirus on your life, Pandemic Depression. Pandemic Depression is becoming more and more prevalent, and in our counseling offices we are seeing more clients than ever come through our doors with symptoms of depression. Depression symptoms encompass anything from a down or irritable mood, to changes in appetite or sleeping patterns, to low motivation and energy to do necessary things to take care of yourself or of things that you used to enjoy doing.
Feeling depressed is no joke. You may have no motivation to get your work done, or spend time with loves ones, and instead just sit around perhaps watching TV, scrolling social media, or even drinking more alcohol than you normally would. Your pleasure in your usual daily activities is much lower than normal, and you start wonder, is this all there is? Will my life ever change? You start to lose hope for a better you and an improved future. Pandemic depression can be crushing, especially for those who have struggled with depression in the past.
What to Do About Your COVID Anxiety and Pandemic Depression
The good news is, COVID anxiety and Pandemic Depression are treatable. You don’t have to feel like this forever, and there is hope that you can change your anxious thinking patterns and get out of your depression rut. There are some things you can start doing at home to lay the foundation for your recovery, although the first step is always realizing that things aren’t normal and that you are experiencing anxiety or depression. Check out our blog posts How Self Care Can Help Treat Depression or How Emotions Can Help Treat Anxiety. Talk to your doctor, or a trusted friend, about seeking counseling treatment, and get a referral for an experienced therapist who can help you feel better. You can overcome this and get back to your wonderful, amazing self.
How We Can Help
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxing life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.