It is evident the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on humans and societies at large. Talk of social activities, economic activities, basic life movement to even the economy itself, one area which has greatly been affected is our health. For even the economy to have not been able to bear the brunt of the pandemic, a person not being able to deal with it shouldn't come as a surprise.
However, with our health, the area being hit the hardest by the pandemic is the mind leading to mental health issues. Of a truth, dealing with the new unanticipated lifestyle has directly or indirectly affected every living creature under the sun. The pandemic, which instantaneously changed our lives, did not only take away lives and joy but some people’s ability to reason post-the-traumatic experience.
RECOGNIZING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
The issue of mental health, which although may not be physically seen, sometimes can be detected through some attitudes displayed by the person involved. Mostly, with one’s emotions, there are possible attitudinal signs that will definitely be portrayed in this regard. Medical research has outlined some basic signs that can help detect mental disorders in people and this is termed as warning signs.
According to medics, one early stage of an issue with one’s mental health is when one worries excessively and also experiences excess anxiety prior to an event or in rare cases with no trigger or event ahead. Paranoia in this regard cannot be left out as a person battling with his mental health can become highly delusional and self-centered in this regard. A defect in mental health can also be characterized by long-lasting sadness, irritability and extreme changes in moods. We mostly assume such people are depressed and this is not far from the truth.
For example, after a long stay without meeting relatives such as presented by the pandemic, one might assume the extreme mood change has become a norm however, that might not be the actual case. Another sign is “social withdrawal” and it’s not far from the above. In some cases, people battling mental health will want to keep away from social activities and will not like to mingle but keep to themselves.
These persons might give off attitudes of not being interested in activities but might be battling with their state of mental health. Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping pattern are other ways to determine one’s battle with his or her health. Because of lockdown measures, it might be assumed that the habit of eating and sleeping too much has become a post pandemic habit, which in the actual sense will be a sign of one battling with mental disorder.
Moreover, there are several disorders that can affect the mental health of every individual. One key disorder evident post pandemic is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Taking a walk through one’s mental health post pandemic
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
PTSD has been handpicked here because of its dominance in our world today. In a world full of trauma emanating from the pandemic, it is an undeniable fact that most people are experiencing PTSD. Moving away from personal live experiences which cause trauma, one can attest to the recent and lingering pandemic which has contributed to PTSD in most, if not all persons.
According to medics, this mental health concern is one that can be best treated when it's clearly understood. In the quest to mitigate the spread of the virus, some measures were outlined for every country to observe which indirectly put on hold physically human relations and interactions.
One may have thought it was for a short while but as the pandemic took a dramatic turn, the world had to find a way to adjust. Imagine losing loved ones and yet not being able to see your family and friends to comfort you. Also, being confined to your room with no social activities can greatly affect one already going through trauma. According to studies 60% of men and 50% of women experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives. PTSD can develop and affect anyone and is not a sign of weakness or inability to "get over" traumatic events.
DEALING WITH PTSD
How to treat PTSD depends on the patient as well as the type of trauma experienced, but effective treatments for PTSD established by a therapist can alleviate PTSD symptoms that are both minor and severe. For example, frequent session with a therapist will aid with fast recovery from such a mental trauma.
Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD say in order to regain focus, finding an enjoyable physical activity that they can perform regularly has helped them to reduce their levels of stress and cope with their symptoms. Another effective approach which has over the time proven to be helpful in aiding people to cope with the disruptive symptoms of PTSD is adopting a pet that is especially trained to recognize and prevent symptoms.
Medical evidence has also shown that adopting a trained animal has a positive impact, at least in the short-term. It is also said to be effective because it helps people to manage PTSD-related depression and anxiety. Increasingly, meditation and mindfulness-based relaxation techniques have been shown to help manage a range of disorders. Mindfulness-based treatments for PTSD points to a few therapies that have been found effective in reducing avoidance and self-blame in people diagnosed with the disorder
ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH AND ADJUSTING TO THE NEW NORM
Life, as has become obvious now, might not go back to normalcy and one would ask: how do we help people battling mental health or how do I help myself when I find myself being in such situations? Facing an issue which is taking a toll on you? Speak Up! Experts advise that to protect and maintain a healthy mental health, some changes and measures have to be put in place. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
This isn’t a sign of weakness but rather a part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Feeling listened to can help you feel more supported.
And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same. Regular exercise can also boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Because, exercise keeps the brain and other vital organs healthy, it’s also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health. Eating well is another effective solution. What we eat may affect how we feel because food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Keeping in touch with friends and family also does the trick. Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life the same way, friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views on whatever that’s going on inside your own head and help to keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve such problems.
Another way to cope and deal with your mental health is to ask for help. In so doing some of the weight of your issues can be laid off. Besides, don’t forget to take a break because a change of scene or a change of place is good for your mental health. Also, a therapy session is best recommended by medics all over the world as one solution that best helps people to deal with any form of mental health disorder. Seeking the expertise of a therapist can be one’s best bet.
Technology has become of great help in these times as the part of the world’s activities have gone virtual. As mental health has become an issue of relevance in this post-pandemic times, using technology to connect with relatives and family is a much-needed activity to help share thoughts, keep in touch and help navigate through the current state the world finds itself in. So, don’t be enclosed in your thoughts. Seek help and protect your mental health today.