Stressed, depressed, and feeling really bad right now? You’re not alone. Here’s how to get help right now
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The symptoms hit hard and fast. I was fine when I went to bed, but I woke up feeling exhausted, a little queasy and totally paralyzed. I could move, I just didn’t want to.
“Are you depressed?” my retired-nurse Mom asked when I finally answered her daily check-in call around noon and admitted I was still in bed, but no, I didn’t have a fever, cough, sore throat, or anything else for her to worry about. “I don’t think so,” I said.
Sure, we’re on lockdown during a pandemic. I’m concerned for my family, especially my aging parents. I’m worried about work — or as a freelancer — lack thereof. My neighbors just had a giant screaming match outside my window, my gray roots are showing, my eyebrows look like two squirrels fighting each other, and my teens’ new TikTok-binge-watching habit might drive me straight to crazy-town.
Sound familiar? Just about everyone I know took a ride on the struggle bus this week.
“After three days of working on assignments, cleaning, cooking and keeping my spirits up, for the most part, I’m still in bed at nearly 11 am, not *quite* able to face the day,” my friend Karen Epper Hoffman wrote on her Facebook page. (She also gave me permission to put it in this story.) She called it the “morning malaise,” and asked her friends how we were feeling. Nearly 50 of us responded, “the exact same way.”
THE NEW NOT-SO NORMAL
As this whole shelter in place order stretches into its second and third weeks for many of us, it seems we’ve reached a new level of anxiety, isolation, fear, stress, cabin-fever, and frustration of having no clue when it might end.
But whatever. I’m fine. Right?
“You probably are just fine,” Dr. Neil Leibowitz, Talkspace’s Chief Medical Officer, told me over the phone, “But with everything going on right now, it’s like anxiety on steroids.” He went on to reassure me that it’s pretty common to feel out of sorts. “When you get the rug yanked out overnight, there’s no routine, no ‘normal’ anymore, it’s not comfortable. But we will all adjust.”
THE ONLINE THERAPIST WILL SEE YOU NOW
Calls and emails from people seeking mental health support this week are up 65% for Talkspace, one of several teletherapy resources for people seeking help via encrypted video conference, phone, or text message. Demand is so high, the company has doubled-down on new ways to get people support quickly including a free therapist-led Facebook support group, and new Instagram Stories COVID-19 channel. Both social media sites have Talkspace therapists answering questions daily in the hope that “as many people as possible take advantage of these resources, and know that we are here for them in this time of need at any time of the day,” Dr. Leibowitz said.
There have been a number of recent emergency changes that allow both therapists and psychiatrists to provide care to patients online or from an app. For the first time ever, Medicare okayed teletherapy according to Ken Duckworth, the chief medical officer at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In an interview with NBC this week he explained that for many mental health conditions, “teletherapy has the same effectiveness as in-person therapy.”
WHEN HELP IS A CLICK, TAP, TEXT, OR PHONE CALL AWAY
I also connected with a licensed therapist through JustAnswer this week, where mental health inquiries are up 75% according to a company spokesperson.
“I think we can all acknowledge this is a very stressful time,” a therapist named Leah texted me within the app’s dashboard. “I think it’s most important to give yourself some grace and some patience here. Remember how out of the ordinary this time in our lives is, and remember that you’re not alone.”
Even the CDC is making sure people have mental health support right now and at least one subreddit — Covid19_support — is trending as a place for people to seek emotional support too.
Here are some of the top resources for crisis outreach in one place:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helpline: 800-950-6264
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Disaster Distress helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs: 66745.
- Crisis Text 24/7 support: Text HELLO to 741741
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA)
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your emotional health? Be sure to connect with us via social media and let us know.
Note: A slightly different version of this story appeared in Jennifer Jolly’s column for USA Today.
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Source : https://www.justanswer.com