As a mental health professional, I am seeing an increase in the rate of people dealing with depression and anxiety. While these issues have always been around, they have been occurring at a higher rate in the recent months and years.
The COVID pandemic hit and we all had to put our lives on hold. We were stuck at home, away from our jobs, friends, and family members. The loneliness and fear that followed have led to feelings of depression and anxiety in many people. We found ourselves isolated from the lives we were used to living. Everything became new, unfamiliar, and overwhelming. In addition, during this time, many of us lost friends and loved ones from COVID-19. We had to grieve alone and not be surrounded by the support of others. Now, as we attempt to adjust to the “new normal,” some may feel guilty for surviving and having the opportunity to move forward. The grief of losing people while being alone combined with the guilt of moving forward may lead to depression.
Over the last two years, we have had to adapt to these changes and how we deal with situations and emotions. We have grown to become so comfortable isolated at home that the transition of becoming more social may be challenging. As we are beginning to come out of the pandemic, many must readjust to being back in public and re-entering society. We need to learn how to socialize during these new times with new restrictions. Unfortunately, this transition may come with feelings of anxiety, depression, hesitation, and discomfort.
Some of us may feel anxious in the following situations:
1. Crowded spaces surrounded by people
2. Having to go back to working in an office after working from home for a year or more
3. Fearing catching various illnesses
4. Fearing leaving the comfort of your home
Many will find themselves unsure of the feelings that come with these experiences. As we move towards normalcy, people need to know they are not alone and that reaching out for help is a sign of strength!