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The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused me to struggle with certain aspects of my depression more than I usually do, but I'm trying to cope in healthy ways. If you're also having trouble coping with your depression during this difficult time, maybe some of these ideas can help you, too.
Pursuing and surviving sobriety is no easy feat, and for women in addiction recovery, the challenge can feel even more strenuous. Addiction of any kind can touch the lives of just about everyone no matter our racial, ethnic, or religious background, however, the fight to stay sober might look different for different individuals pursuing recovery. Due to numerous unfair gender roles and expectations society places on women, many female addicts often feel as though getting help is simply not an option. Because women are often obligated to be caretakers for friends, children, parents, and grandparents, many of them are too wrapped up with the challenging responsibility of caring for others, leaving little or no time to care for themselves.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is definitely taking a toll on my schizoaffective anxiety. I haven’t heard voices because of the stress (thankfully), but this is a case where I can’t tell myself I’m worrying about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.
Anxious thoughts can be overwhelming, crushing, and exhausting. Cognitive-behavior therapy and other similar therapies teach that anxious thoughts are frequently more problematic than an actual anxiety-provoking situation. Problems do exist--we aren't making them up--but what causes us great stress and anxiety is how we think about the problem. When it comes to reducing anxiety, this is a very good thing that we can use in our favor. Often, we can't change a situation that is causing anxiety. We can, however, affect our thoughts about this and any other circumstance that contributes to anxiety. We can even replace anxious thoughts with different, realistic, centered thoughts and ideas. Here's a look at replacing anxious thoughts with grateful thoughts. 
So here's the thing: the Coronavirus has made our planet its home for a while now. Although it showed up in December 2019, it is only in the month of March that we have decided to take it seriously. To contain the virus, many countries have prohibited people from leaving their homes and practice social distancing instead. This has naturally taken on a toll on the mental health of extroverts and ambiverts. And over time, it will affect introverts too (if it hasn't already). I speak from experience because I am an introvert whose depression was already worsened due to the lockdown. Let me elaborate. 
I hate to say it, but my mental health hasn't changed much since the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Despite working directly with COVID patients, lack of protective personnel equipment (PPE), and a limited supply of masks—my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains intact.
It's been difficult staying positive during the coronavirus lockdown. The last week has been a whirlwind of canceled flights, just-in-time border crossings, and mandatory lockdowns. It's been stressful, to say the least. But despite the occasional frenzy, I've been able to stay positive, finding the humor in the madness.
The coronavirus triggered binge eating for me. The binges were triggered for me because the outbreak of coronavirus in northern Italy directly impacted me. 
How can we prioritize eating disorder recovery in the midst of COVID-19? Social distancing is the newest buzzword of our culture, and #FlattenTheCurve is our latest hashtag as we all stumble through this unprecedented reality of the coronavirus, so I will be honest—it's an inconvenient, anxiety-inducing time to have a complicated history with food and exercise. But despite the shifts in my routine or the lack of control and normalcy, I choose to still prioritize my eating disorder recovery in the midst of COVID-19.
COVID-19 affects mental health. Most of the news is about people with underlying physical health issues and how the virus is extra dangerous to them. Have no doubt, those of us with mental health diagnoses are also at extra risk and we don't even have to be exposed to experience the fallout.

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Comments

Megan Griffith
Hi E, I'm sorry you can relate, but thank you so much for reaching out and letting me know about your experience. It can feel so lonely dealing with misdiagnosis, and it's always so great to hear from others who have healed despite missteps along the way. I hope you're doing well now, and I will definitely try to take your advice and slowly learn to trust myself.
E
Sounds a lot like me. I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar I. I didn't know I had C-PTSD. In fact, I didn't even know I had trauma. So when I started having flashbacks following years of intense stress and severe insomnia, I had all the symptoms of Bipolar I. But sleep deprivation is used as a way to torture people for a reason- it can make anyone crazy. It took me a few years to get to the root of my issues and then trust myself enough to get off medication. Best thing I ever did was learn to trust myself and not the "experts."
Laura Barton
Hey Rachel. It sounds like you and I are on the same wavelength with this and I appreciate you taking the time to share. I've been thinking about turning off my social media for a period of time to distance myself from the chaos, but I'm hesitant to do so since that's how I stay in touch for other things. And you're spot on about the reactions to saying you're not afraid of it. I understand precaution. I understand being mindful for those who have health reasons to be afraid. But overall, I'm not afraid for myself and I'm not going to work myself up just because someone else says I should.

These are definitely frustrating circumstances in many ways, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one feeling this way. Wishing you the best!
Krystle Vermes
Hi Jodee! I am sorry to hear about your struggle, the COVID-19 crisis definitely seems to be compounding many situations right now. Hang in there!
Lily
Hi all,
I am really stuck and torn on what exactly my situation is. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years and he has bipolar 2. He came out and told me about his bipolar 4 months ago, in which I didn't see anything wrong with it, as I'll always love him regardless. Shortly after, in January, he began considering going on meds and taking lithium.
Once he began lithium, I noticed that he had hypomania quite often. When he does, we tend to argue more.. and I would try to avoid these arguments as much as I can, given that he's not listening or trying to speak loudly and overlapping me.
During this time, we've been in the process of talking about getting engaged and having a future together. His goal was to propose sometime this year. In doing so, he suggests that we should try living together, so he began his process of looking into apartments. We started going to apartment viewing, while also trying on ring styles/sizes, etc.
One month ago, we got into a small argument in which it triggered into him asking for 3 days of space. This 3 days turned into 1 week, then 2 weeks, then 3 weeks and now a month. During this entire month, he ignored both calls and messages of mine when I had asked if he was ready to chat. So 2 days ago, I decided to reach out to him to see if he was ready to talk and he said he was. He told me this wasn't going to work out and that the last 3 weeks, he was able to spend all that he wanted and do things whenever he wanted. This was devastating for me to hear because he had always been able to do and spend however he likes/wants.
I'm just a little confused on whether this is all part of him having bipolar or the effects of the meds, or if it's just simply commitment issues. I'm so tired of excusing his behaviours and being stuck on what's acceptable and what's not. I'm currently in the last semester of my college and battling practicum at this point and this world-wide COVIC-19 pandemic. Having to move on seems almost impossible, given that I can't even do normal things with this social distancing and isolation. I'm just so torn that he's selfish enough to not even recognize the mental stress he's putting me through. When I asked what he was thinking, he would only reply with 'these are my thoughts, you don't get to know them.' How does one go from so loving to a completely cold and mean person? It's like he threw everything that we had planned for away. I just don't know who he is, what this is, am I in denial and excusing all this behaviour for him having bipolar. I just want answers.