How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affects My Schizoaffective Anxiety

March 26, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

COVID-19, or coronavirus, is 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 worried about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.

Schizoaffective Anxiety and Panicking About COVID-19

I’m not that worried for myself, because I’ve been able to stay at home, although I was worried yesterday when I developed a slight cough. It’s gone away.

I’m worried about my parents because my dad is sick already (not with COVID-19) and my mom is a professor, though she is now working remotely from home. I’m also worried about my husband Tom because he works full-time at a bank, which is open. I know everyone says to stay at home, but some people can’t. Being able to stay at home is a privilege, though I am used to doing this. I know, for many, the new routine is isolating.

Because of my schizoaffective anxiety, I’m always looking for something to panic about even on a good day. Well, as I said at the beginning of this article, everyone is panicking about COVID-19. I just have to take it easy and prioritize. The most important thing I have to do today is to write this article, so right when I woke up, I got ready to write it. I also have a phone call with my sister, Laura, later today, so I wanted to be sure to have this written by then.

Schizoaffective Anxiety and the Fear Surrounding COVID-19

Staying at home isn’t hard for me. I work from home, and I stay in most of the time anyway because my anxiety makes it hard for me to go out. However, last week I did take the train to a therapy appointment. A young kid was sitting across from me. He coughed right in my direction and didn’t cover his mouth. I've been paranoid I got the coronavirus from him ever since, especially yesterday when I developed a cough.

Luckily, my therapist changed my therapy appointments to phone appointments, so I don’t have to worry about taking the train anymore. (My schizoaffective anxiety makes me feel afraid to drive.)

Tom and I went out to eat on Saturday. My parents went out to eat at a different restaurant, too. We were all happy we did because, the next day, it was announced that all restaurants and bars had to close down dining in. But then I was still scared we’d made a mistake in going out. It’s hard to feel sure of anything right now.

The fear surrounding COVID-19 has made my generalized anxiety worse. Again, I thank my lucky stars I haven’t heard voices. All the little things I’ve written about in the past that my anxiety latches onto are worse. I’ve been asking my loved ones for reassurance about things I’m worried about. I thought I’d gotten over that. But, in some ways, living through an actual crisis has made me realize what really matters. I just hope I and my loved ones make it out of this, and I hang onto the lessons I’ve learned.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, March 26). How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affects My Schizoaffective Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 31 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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