There is growing concern that as many persons deal with fear of the coronavirus, that fear is having a toll on their mental health.
According to the Director of the Mental Health Unit in Guyana, Dr. Util Thomas, the pandemic has forced persons to adapt to a new lifestyle to protect themselves and family and that may be creating some anxiety and other mental issues.
“Staying at home with our families, wearing a mask, washing our hands regularly and finding new hobbies and routines have become the new norm. Many of us are finding it hard to adjust. The stress associated with this period is manifesting in different ways for some of us; lack of sleep, constant fear, anger, confusion, frustration, anxiety and depression are what we face daily”, the Doctor pointed out.
She said persons should begin addressing those issues by talking to someone who they can trust about their problems and feelings, adding that, “even if that person cannot solve the problem, just talking sometimes is enough. A problem shared is a problem halved. When we talk about a problem, our brain releases chemicals which ease the symptoms of stress. Vice versa, we must be ready to listen to others so that they too can have the same benefits. Listen without being judgmental or forcing persons to talk”.
Dr. Thomas also believes that more persons should make themselves aware of the help that may be available to them in their communities.
“Your problems are going to feel much more manageable, and you will feel much more hopeful and confident about getting through this pandemic if you are well informed of available supports. Everyone has strengths but sometimes we become so used to them that we tend to view them as ordinary and unremarkable. Look for them; that ability to overcome, the ability to endure, the ability to see beyond the moment. Look deep inside and recognize those strengths, skills and achievements and use them to get through this period”, she noted.
It is also recommended that during this time, persons set aside time for themselves and not fill their day with unrealistic tasks that cannot be accomplished as a result of the current circumstances.
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