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Two things that I find to be true when supporting family members with mental illness at any time are these: you cannot pour from an empty cup, and oftentimes just being there is the most important thing. Here is how these truths have manifested themselves in our family's life during COVID-19.
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.
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 behavioral 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.
Coronavirus isolation is new, but here's the thing: 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 asked them to 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 has already worsened due to coronavirus isolation. 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-19 patients as a healthcare worker, 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.

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Comments

Natasha Tracy
Hi Sunshineelise,

I'm happy to help :)

- Natasha Tracy
Jessica Kaley
Good for you, Pat, for changing something that was making you unhappy. When we are willing to do that, we take our power back from people who take advantage of us. Knowing and setting your boundaries with others is a great form of self-care.
Jessica Kaley
Oh, Vi, I feel what you're saying. The best thing is that while you can't change the past, you can learn from it. Every experience is a learning opportunity, and I find it personally healing to forgive myself for making a decision that I might regret because I did the best I could at that time with the knowledge and experience I had. You will never go into a deal again without remembering this past one that didn't go well, and therefore you will be in a better and stronger place. Celebrate your growth!
Jessica Kaley
Cydnie, that's so great to hear! Thank you for your comment. Keep up the good work.
Jessica Kaley
Thank you, Vi, for your comment. I'm glad to hear things are moving in the direction you want now. Best wishes and stay safe.