MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE RISING DUE TO COVID-19.
This season of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to live in extreme conditions which will make its way to our books of history. This health situation has stretched our physical and mental health to a very unpredictable elastic limit. Unfortunately, the curve of mental illness is sharply rising and Peoples’ ways of reacting to circumstances and uncertainties are the main breeding ground of these statistics.
Have you considered what’s all about the concern around mental health with the COVID-19?
In my last blog on understanding mental health, I mentioned that mental health is just like physical health, we need to take care of it. Being mentally healthy means being able to think, feel, and react in a manageable way. It also mean that if you go through a period of poor mental health with the prevailing situations, your thinking, your feeling, or how you are reacting is becoming difficult to cope with.
Many people have mental health issues but a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when you are not able to function well on your normal day to day activities like schoolwork, work performance, or even your relationships with other people. In this case, Mental illness symptoms are those that affect emotions, thoughts, and behavior. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting our social lifestyle which is directly linked to our mental health. You can read more on social psychology and the COVID-19
What is happening?
When the normal lifestyle is interrupted, we struggle to embrace the changes especially if we had not planned for it. Adapting to a new social reality is proving to be the main cause of mental health issues. For instance, having to stay at home with the fear of contracting the coronavirus disease, being fired by your employer or even trying to squeeze the living budget to comply with the pay cut, facing domestic issues, handling children and teenagers needs,(I will write about the psychology of teenagers soon) facing loneliness due to inhibited movements, dealing with loss and grief and stigma related to the exposure to the disease and many others.
The other thing is that as usual in times of crisis, the poor and the underprivileged are the most affected group. people living with other health conditions like cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and other chronic medical conditions are also at risk because their treatment schedules are interrupted. With the closure of schools, another group of vulnerable is coming up. Many cases of teenage pregnancies and child abuse are being reported. Meaning, the extent of mental health damage is going beyond adult issues to children and teenagers’ also.
No one is safe, leave alone the demands around the observance of new rules and wearing of masks. Will life go back to normal? what do we expect of the new normal? How do we live it? These concerns look minute, but when considered as a whole, they possess a mental health risk.
In this context, mental health should be given attention now more than ever. However, I believe we should first understand what mental health is, be self-aware, and then we can be in a good position to manage it. I understand that many people are currently going through many life stresses. Unfortunately, we rarely seek help, so that by the time we are acknowledging that we need it, the situation is already exploding. My desire is that we will learn how to manage by all means we can.
All of us have feelings because we are human beings, if we say that being happy is having a good life , we are lying to ourselves. The truth is we all go through issues, uncertainties, circumstances and many other things which press hard on us. However, we have choices to make whether to allow them to affect our lives or we can control them from affecting us. Honestly, I believe we can control what affects our mental health. Our thoughts generally determine what we feel, for example, I can choose to make a small problem as big as it can be because I focused my thoughts on it and at the same time, I can focus my thoughts on generating possible solutions instead of magnifying it. This is a whole topic on its own which I will focus on for the next couple of weeks.
I believe selp help mental health strategy is the way to go in this season and even after Covid-19 and as embrace life beyond we will be focusing more on coaching people on ways of adopting a healthy mental health lifestyle. My prayer is that you will benefit too from this initiative and adopt ways of dealing with your normal stresses of life.
Thanks for reading and for your interest to learn more about Mental health, let me know your thoughts and feedback on this blog at the comments section below.