Looking over the past year and a half, many of us may still be trying to process all that has gone on. With community shutdowns and individuals experiencing copious amounts of isolation, the past 18 months have been a breeding ground for increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, substance use, and other mental illnesses. Especially in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health facilities or treatment centers found themselves struggling to make a smooth transition to telehealth.
For so long, individuals in dire need of access to mental health care may not have received the help they needed. Thankfully, many places made it through that tough transition and have been able to help the people of their communities and further out.
At Lakehouse Recovery, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people we can treat, thanks to digital access to our treatment programs. Now that things are finally starting to open up and things are slowly finding normalcy, new concerns may arise for some people. What do we do now? How do we go back to normal? How will this affect my recovery? Honestly, no one really knows what to do next, which is why it’s more important than ever that we try to figure that out together.
How Are Reopenings Making You Feel?
For those who have experienced any sort of social anxiety disorder in the past, some of the struggles people may begin to face will most likely be nothing new. After over a year of people being cautious about leaving their homes and interacting with family, friends, and love ones, there is a certain level of tension that may begin to develop with the thought of getting back into routine interactions with others.
Whether they’re the same negative thoughts and feelings experienced before, or new fears stemming from trying to figure out how to act normally around each other again, those thoughts and feelings are completely valid and understandable.
Some common mixed feelings or emotions that many began to feel during the coronavirus, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, include:
- Fear and worry about your health and the health of loved ones
- Interrupted sleep and eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic and or mental illnesses
- An overall decrease in health
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances
Now that states are reopening, there is a possibility that these thoughts, feelings, and actions may decrease. However, there is also a possibility that they may increase and even worsen.
The effects of the coronavirus on anxiety and mental illnesses, in general, have the potential to be long-lasting. Research has examined the mental health effects of COVID-19 extensively. Throughout their various literature reviews and clinical research studies, much has been discovered about the group of people most likely to experience a greater sense of fear and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies found that children and elderly people with underlying health conditions are the most affected.
It’s important to keep in mind that we may be seeing the long-term mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the next few decades. In that time, more and more research will be conducted to better understand these effects and to cope with them.
Ending California Restrictions
Restrictions in California began lifting back on June 15th of this year. On that day, the Governor terminated the executive Stay Home Order and Blueprint for a Safer Economy, while terminating several past actions that had been put in place since March of 2020. Some of the restrictions that were lifted included social distancing, capacity limits for business, and the county tier system.
Many executive orders have remained, such as masks, travel requirements, and regulations for public events. The bottom line is that while things are opening up, it’s at a slow and steady pace.
People need to continue receiving the treatment they need regardless of how quick or slow that pace may be. For some, it may mean beginning to attend in-person individual or group therapy sessions or checking into a treatment facility, while for others, it may mean continuing to receive treatment virtually. For individuals who have been able to receive treatment from hundreds of miles away via telehealth options, they may want to continue doing so.
The next step that an individual takes is going to hinge on what works best for them, and it’s paramount that no matter what steps those may be, they prioritize the individual’s mental health and recovery.
As the world starts to fall back into a sense of normalcy after what seems like a lifetime of living in a global pandemic, other concerns and issues will surely arise. There will continue to be an increase in mental health issues due to the coronavirus, whether manifested through anxiety, depression, or addiction. If you or someone you love has struggled immensely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to suffer as States reopen, know that you are not alone. You can implement the same practices and resources to maintain your recovery the way you have throughout the past year. Reach out to local facilities to learn about their in-person and virtual offerings and create a treatment plan most effective for you. If you feel like you’re struggling with recovery, remember that you made it through a global pandemic, there isn’t much you can’t do. Please reach out to the Lakehouse at (877) 762-3707 today to continue that path of recovery.