The COVID-19 pandemic certainly hasn’t alleviated any of our anxiety or depression symptoms. For some, the hopelessness, dread, and fear perpetrated by the media regarding the pandemic has created more stress, causing more intense symptoms and a general sense of discomfort.

It’s difficult to maintaining hope in such times for someone without a mental health condition, but for those suffering from anxiety disorders, it’s ten times more difficult to keep from feeling hopeless. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, this article is for you. We’ll take a look at some tips to help you manage your condition and prevent the existential dread from deepening your depression.

Know Your Symptoms

First, you need to know what symptoms occur in you when your depression and anxiety spike. While anxiety disorders are numerous, some have overlapping symptoms, which can include mood changes, appetite and sleep pattern changes, intense and sudden emotions like anger, and pervasive sorrow or worry.

If you notice a change in your sleep or eating patterns, you could be experiencing a spike in symptoms. The first step to solving any problem recognizes there is one, so become familiar with how you react to stressors and how your condition(s) present.

Have A Support Group

When depression or anxiety spike, you might think terrible things, like “I hate myself,” or “I’m never getting anywhere.” In these times, it’s important to have a support group to fall back on or at least one person you can confide in. This can be a counselor, professor, parent, sibling, friend, anyone your trust to display your deepest emotions too.

Online support groups are some of the best tools available to us during the COVID crisis. You can find anonymous chat rooms, condition-specific support groups and forums, and so much more on the web. These resources could be vital to managing your symptoms during the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, so don’t be afraid to utilize them! 

You can also get professional counseling via the web from the comfort of your own home. Many therapists are seeing clients via video conferences or audio calls, which lends a certain level of convenience and comfort to the experience. If you feel comfortable in your environment, you’re much more likely to share your thoughts and feelings in an honest manner.

Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help, too, but understand that they may be unable to assist you because they’re dealing with their own mental health. The COVID crisis has affected each and every one of us in some way, and before you can help anyone else, you need to help yourself.

It’s not meant to be insulting when a loved one says they simply can’t handle someone else’s problems at the moment. Give them time to adjust and take care of themselves, and they’ll come around. We need to stick together and support each other as much as possible during these uncertain and fearful times.

Stress Management

Such symptoms are often exacerbated by times of great stress and turmoil. That doesn’t mean that you must fall victim to the excess stress of the times. Sure, COVID is scary, but as long as you’re following guidelines, you’re minimizing your risk of contracting the virus. Not to mention, the social, economic, and political upheaval that’s occurred since the onset of the virus might just be for the better.

There’s a good chance we’ll see some serious changes in the coming year’s thanks to both COVID and the social unrest that’s occurred recently. Important social issues are coming to light in a way they never have before, and COVID has a strange way of showing us what our shortcomings as a society and a nation are.

 Try to look at things in a different light when possible. It’s all too easy to adopt a glass-half-empty mentality with dreadful news headlines and fear-based information, but the truth is, COVID has brought out some of the best of humanity, and that’s something to take pride in and be happy about.

It’s Ok To Feel This Way

Unfortunately, our country is full of stigma and misguided information regarding mental health. It is ok to feel depressed, sad, anxious, or anything else you may be feeling right now. You don’t have anything to be ashamed of, nor should you have to hide how you’re feeling. Guys, we’re talking to you, too

The Future

In the coming years, we hope to see mental health resources become more readily available for those suffering from mental health conditions. Until then, it’s important that we continue to support one another and get rid of this idea that mental illness is something to be ashamed of. Together, we can power through the COVID crisis and on to a brighter future. If you are interested in learning if you might have depression, take this test from Mind Diagnostics.