How many people can admit their mental health has been impacted by the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Everyone says it’s okay to admit you’re not okay, so I’m usually the first to confess. Since I was little I have not been able to hide my emotions, especially the big ones. Since I was diagnosed with Coronavirus, I’ve actually struggled to come to terms with my feelings.
A few weeks ago I admitted to my doctor that I felt like I was unraveling – she said, “Of course you are, you’re going through a traumatic experience.” For the last forty plus days I’ve been forced to hang out in an uncharted territory with Covid-19. In addition to this ugly virus, fear, anger, sadness, and anxiety have taken up residence inside my mind.
How My Mental Health Has Been Impacted by the Coronavirus Outbreak
The toll this pandemic and virus is taking on my body is not unique to me. I’ve met a few people who admit their mental health has been impacted by Coronavirus from being sick for so long. Collectively, we feel unable to process why we can’t beat a virus holding our health and sanity as prisoner. We are overridden with guilt for not being as sick as others and for being able to recover at home instead of alone in a hospital. Baffled, frustrated, and helpless is how it feels to be sick for so long without a treatment or end in sight.
It’s not just people with the virus. Our society as a whole is not okay. WE ARE NOT OKAY.
WE are all depressed, angry, anxious and saddened by Coronavirus pandemic. From the nurses to the grocery store cashier to our children, WE have all been affected. There is no difference between age, race, or gender, for we all feel abnormal given our current situations.
My daughters are noticeably different – Ailey started sucking her thumb and Annabelle’s having mini tantrums. They’ve also become increasingly defiant. The girls express their sadness and frustration at not being able to go to school, see their friends, or leave the house from time to time. My heart breaks every time I see the disappointment on their face. If I think I’m having trouble processing my emotions, then I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a three and six year old.
If you’re feeling the same way – grieving a loss of your normal life or overwhelmed with anxiety/anger/sadness – don’t be afraid to contact a counselor. I started sessions last week and the few hours I’ve spent so far have helped me sort out my emotions. There’s a lot going on inside my mind and my anxiety is more out of control than ever. But my mental health will heal, along with my body, if I don’t give up.
In addition to counseling, I’ve sought advice from a Naturopath for strengthening my immune system. I’m also focusing on practicing Gratitude and Mindfulness, as well as easy yoga and painting.
This morning I’m going to be retested for Covid-19. Six weeks after a positive test and eight days without a fever qualifies be to be tested again.
If my Coronavirus test is negative, my doctor will be able to order a CT Scan on my lungs. We don’t know if there is any damage, but we can only assume something is going on. My chest still burns and I’m sporadically coughing throughout the day. I’m easily out of breathe, exhausted by evening, and battling a form of laryngitis.
Every day I wake up hoping to feel a little better. Every other day I actually do – feel good – but by evening a symptom reminds me I’m not well. My doctor says I’m on the road to recovery, but there is no telling how long my journey will be. My counselor told me to repeat the mantra “FOR NOW” whenever I start to feel anxious. This is only for now – the illness, the symptoms, the social distancing and quarantine. This is not forever.