COVID-19 is the big topic at the moment, it feels almost inescapable – from the news to having a presence in everyday conversations. This alone can induce anxiety & discomfort for anyone but we should look at other factors too when considering the impact on mental health.
COVID-19 & OCD
Despite the assumption that people may have regarding the pandemic & OCD sufferers, there’s more to the diagnosis than generally being uncomfortable due to the illness’s presence. People who suffer with OCD may have found healthy strategies for their mental health, but are unable to make use of their coping mechanism now.
For example, Paige is an OCD sufferer & shares her struggles with COVID-19 on Twitter. While Paige & Mollie aren’t necessarily worried about catching the illness, the secondary impact that is affecting their
mental health is the lack of their coping mechanism: in this case, it’s the availability of hand sanitizer. Where everyone rushed out to stockpile necessities that to the individual don’t feel like a big deal, it’s a massive deal to other people who rely on that product. This is the first step to understanding the bigger picture – how something insignificant to you is having a negative impact on the mental health of the wider community.
COVID-19 & the ‘I’m safe’ people
I personally relate to this one. I wouldn’t say I am an ‘at risk’ individual for COVID-19. However, I can see how it’s likely I might catch it: through work, commuting, networking, food shopping – my daily routine essentially. But I wouldn’t say I’m overly concerned about myself catching it. I’m 20 years old, I have no underlying health conditions & I’m quite healthy & active. But regardless of this, I am still anxious.
As if the word ‘pandemic’ doesn’t strike enough fear alone! I know fully well where my anxiety over this issue stems from. Despite the fact I feel safe, I am worried about my partner who I live with. His immune system is currently weak from suffering cancer last year. My father who I also live with is partially on the older spectrum. (sorry dad, we know you’re young at heart!).
So this is about understanding that even if you’re safe, please be mindful of the wider community that COVID-19 may impact more severely. Let’s be honest… no one wants to be ill at all, let alone facing the severity of this illness.
The bigger picture…
Now is a time that people must support people. We are faced with the situation that more people will work from home and run the risk of feeling alone, lonely, excluded – all of those icky feelings. This too is likely to impact people with depression. I have been thinking about this one deeply as I’m about to go into 2 weeks working from home. Luckily I’m not alone, but I will for sure be remembering to check in on my friends who are alone at this time. Sending my love (and cat gifs). Please remember to check on those you love.
Now is also the time that some news websites will capitalise on their ability to twist the facts for more clicks on their articles – this isn’t always a good thing. If a news article is scaremongering, this can really impact our friends who have a tendency to feel anxious. Please make sure you’re checking the facts you read & make sure you
If you notice anxiety in your friends at this time there are some excellent grounding techniques that can help in the time of an anxiety attack. Help them find the info they need regarding COVID-19 & let them know they aren’t alone.
Dorset Mind is here to help anyone who is struggling at this time, follow this link to find the online/phone support they have put in place to help people with their mental health.
We’re all in this together dudes!
*Please note, our ambassador Maddie wrote this before lockdown conditions were put in place by the Government.