Coping with COVID-19
Without a doubt you can say life on planet Earth these days is far from “normal”. The constant stress from the outbreak of an unknown and potentially deadly disease called COVID-19 has modified the entire world’s way of living.
The fears, anxieties and greatest worries you might have had about this disease when it first appeared have now—because it has not gone away, and its puzzling list of ailments keeps growing—become part of your daily routine. And it doesn’t look like things will change anytime soon.
Because of this, the most important message for you to hear is also the simplest one: It’s okay not to be okay.
It’s okay to feel stressed. It’s okay to have worries and be afraid. It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed and angry. It’s okay if your anxiety and fears lead to tearful eyes and depression.
For today—and only today—how you feel is okay.
It’s Only Natural
Stress is the natural response of every organism to repeated stimulus, and every person experiences it differently. That means you have a particular way of reacting toward the global health emergency created by COVID-19 and the danger it represents for you and your loved ones.
“While it is normal to experience stress when faced with such an unforeseen event such as the outbreak of COVID-19,” explained Dr. Tasneem Doctor, Vice President of Behavioral Services at Equality Health, “persistent and ongoing levels of stress that interfere with our daily life and relationships can be a danger to our mental and physical health. It is important to understand the difference between normal stress and unhealthy levels of stress.”
Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to ask for professional help when your worries, fears and anxieties affect your relationships and family roles.
When COVID-19 Happens
As COVID-19 detection tests become available throughout Arizona for the general public, the number of cases will increase by a considerable amount. What should you do if you or someone in your family tests positive for COVID-19?
Most importantly, get appropriate medical care. This not only increases your success in overcoming this disease physically, but it can provide encouraging emotional support to help you and your family manage these hard times.
We Are Here for You
Recently, Equality Health’s mental health professionals detected a person’s intentions to inflict self-harm by conversing with them through text messages. This person had suffered a loss of a family member and experienced a moment of vulnerability. Thanks to the intervention of Equality Health’s support system, spiritual encouragement was given to this individual and they later received the treatment their mental state required during a virtual appointment through Telehealth. The patient stabilized.
“When I listen to this story,” said Hugh Lytle, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Equality Health, via videoconference, “I am reminded of the reason why we are here. That is the power of Equality Health. I want to thank our team for making a difference in someone’s life and the community.”
If you feel your emotions and thoughts are out of control, do not hesitate to ask for help. That’s why we’re here! The help you get for your mental health may be the help you need to become a voice of hope for your family and friends.
Dr. Tasneem Doctor indicates that it is important to know the warning signs of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and be open to discussing these with your friends and loved ones. Some common signs include loss of interest in activities or hobbies, feeling stressed when making day-to-day decisions, irritability, hopelessness and/or a persistent sad, anxious or empty mood.
Published in Prensa Arizona, 05/21/2020