The Pandemic and Mental Illness

What You Should Know!

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An urgent medical issue has worsened but has been overlooked in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. May was Mental Health Awareness month, yet many ignore or are unaware of the signs of mental illness. Others delay reaching out for help because of the stigma attached to the disorder. Those who have self-quarantined at home have been encouraged that “we are all in it together.” The same message must go out to those suffering from mental illness: You are not alone!

Fears of abandonment and loneliness have been exacerbated during the pandemic. Those who may not have experienced depression or other disorders may have now been pushed over the edge because of current stresses induced by loss of jobs and separation from friends, coworkers and family. Signs of PTSD are rising, especially in Holocaust survivors, who are now reliving injustices suffered long ago due to similarities of experiences during the current pandemic.

Common symptoms seen during the crisis are difficulty with sleeping, either too much or not enough. Others lack energy or are fatigued. And others may lose their ability to function and fulfill responsibilities. There have been certain triggers throughout history when spikes in mental disorders occurred. For instance, a correlation between an economic downturn and depression.

The Great Depression during the 1930s was a prime example, and what is occurring today as businesses are forced to close can have the same effect. Exacerbated by the pandemic and social distancing is a lack of adequate access to medical care. Many resort to suffering in silence and feel there is nowhere to turn. Watch episode 6 of Stealth on Health for more information on how to help your loved ones!

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