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The Pandemic Has Taken My Depression to a New Low

October 7, 2020 Mahevash Shaikh

It's been nearly seven months of a dreary, dystopian existence, and this pandemic is worsening my depression. Ever since March 2020, life as we know it has changed forever. Living in this pandemic has been dubbed "the new normal," but there is nothing normal about it.

Mentally, I'm in a terrible place. I've unlearned quite a few wholesome habits and replaced them with unhealthy ones like oversleeping and overthinking. While I knew this year would be hard, I thought I was mentally prepared due to my decades-old anxiety and depression. For once, it felt like I would have it easier than people without mental illness. Well, I was wrong; because I am tired, depressed, and tired of being depressed. 

The Pandemic and My Depression: From Okay to Crisis Mode

For about the first three months of pandemic life, I was doing fine. Even though I suffered significant financial loss and craved pre-mask times, my mental health was reasonably alright. Being a realist has taught me to make the best of what I have while acknowledging that my struggles are valid. So, instead of pitying myself or blaming myself for not being "positive," I waited for the crisis to stabilize. After all, the lockdown and other restrictions were only temporary measures. 

Today, it's safe to say that this disease and its consequences are neither temporary nor going away anytime soon. This overwhelming realization has broken something in me, and I'm not sure how to recover. The sad part is that I was doing better than ever before the pandemic hit. 

Safe from COVID at the Cost of Mental Health

I am grateful to have a home that keeps me physically safe from the virus. But staying indoors is not healthy, and neither is social isolation. Yes, in my opinion, social distancing is a form of social isolation. The few times I step out of my house aren't a welcome change because all I see is distant people wearing masks. It's alienating and depressing. The air is so thick with fear that I am compelled to stay in, where I feel trapped. 

And let's not forget how, even in a global disaster, people are choosing to be racist, misogynistic, classist, casteist, etc. Hate and violence still persist -- and that knowledge is enough to destroy anybody's mental health

I typically work on figuring out solutions to my depression, but for now, I'm done trying. Sometimes, the only way to cope with depression is to feel it in its entirety, even wallow in misery for a while. It truly is okay not to be okay -- especially in a harrowing time like now. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2020, October 7). The Pandemic Has Taken My Depression to a New Low, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2020/10/the-pandemic-has-taken-my-depression-to-a-new-low



Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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