I have been saying for the past month that the consequences of the Stay Home Order and subsequent economic shut-down will cause an unprecedented wave of mental health issues. With the increase of reported incidents of Anxiety and Depression amongst our youth and young adults prior to the pandemic, I feared if the SHO continued too long we could anticipate things getting worse. In an article titled, COVID-19's Psychological Toll: Mental Distress Among Americans Has Tripled During the Pandemic Compared to 2018 published yesterday in TIME my fears were confirmed, "Last month, roughly 70% of Americans experienced moderate-to-severe mental distress—triple the rate seen in 2018."https://time.com/5833619/mental-health-coronavirus/. I think the initial number will grow with time as we start to return to work and school.
The Fall Out
The elderly have been denied contact from family members (and still are quarantined for their "safety") and many are dying alone because of it. Family members who cannot be there at their bedsides are grieving their losses from afar. Children who were forced home were surrounded by anxious and angry parents, forced to wear face masks, and told not to get near anyone who might contaminate them. They binge-watched the fatalistic news and fear was everywhere they turned. Those who are less resilient may experience the fall-out of continued fear of death by Corona-Virus and may suffer from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The media said it was "a war with an unseen enemy" and the pending mental health crisis is going to be the result of the trauma created from the over-dramatization of the situation. Fear of death and knowing that others have died built up anxiety and depression as there was not talk of hope or solutions. Even now, fear continues to be promoted at every moment of the day by fear-mongering press determined to keep the public glued to their televisions, internet, or radios. This is extremely unhealthy for everyone. I recommend parents TURN OFF all media that speaks anymore about the Corona-Virus when your children are around. Heck, turn it all off and start living your life free from the negative commentary that is flooding your mind and deregulating your emotions. Overcome the fear by showing your children you are stronger than the fear. Show them that not everything you hear is true or accurate. If you are anxious your children are too. When you relax, they will relax too. Be brave and they will be brave.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Philippians 4:6 (NASB)
Day 91: Relax