Not Fearing COVID-19

Man and woman kissing via two white iPhones next to coffee mug and spoon on wooden table

I Am Stronger Than A Virus

COVID has definitely affected the mental health of many people worldwide. It continues to affect the mental health of many because it brings pain, fear and destruction upon humanity. Anytime that there is a disaster in our society, shockwaves are sent to peoples’ minds, affecting their mental health adversely. Have I mentioned that watching the media does not help? The media is almost as contagious as the virus itself.

You have to learn how to not fear this virus and to continue to live your life as if there was no virus, but by also practicing good hygiene and the necessary precautions of staying safe and not acquiring the virus. Social distancing have become two annoying words and I hate to see it become part of our psychological relations, but unfortunately humanity has already been infected with this concept.

Don’t you think it’s about time to replace “social distancing” with “common sense?” This involves not being to close to strangers, but this does not mean that you should not be hugging, shaking hands or even kissing those who you know or are close to you. I know, I know . . . the media and “top health experts” will tell you otherwise, but don’t you think that the social distancing that they want us to practice is adversely affecting our mental health?

At the end of the day, we have to live our lives and this should not involve being locked up in our homes and practicing “social distancing” 24/7. When we do this, we allow the virus to win. Yes, there are currently many lives being lost in the southern U.S. as well as in South America and Africa, but there must be another solution that we can effectively implement. We cannot keep practicing social distancing for the next decade or we will truly lose our minds.

What are some suggestions that you think we can implement that will prevent us from becoming infected, but at the same time allow us to live a normal life again?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Media Flips The Agenda

Manhattan city skyline under blue sky

From Corona To National Riots Overnight

Since December of 2019, the world has been focused on the coronavirus which started in China. Since it started, many where not paying close attention; a lot of people did not believe that it would ever get out of China. Towards the end of February 2020, the world realized that it was wrong; COVID-19 was swarming nations like the plague. When March hit, so did a new reality based on loss of jobs, social distancing and quarantining. The world changed forever, as if a new reset were established before our eyes.

For almost three months, humanity was quarantined at home while essential workers continued risking their lives. Mental illness increased and deaths skyrocketed from the coronavirus. When May hit, many southern states began loosening restrictions and people returned back to work. Memorial day was big for beaches; people attended like never before.

Things slowly seemed to be getting back to normal . . . until the death of George Floyd, which rocked the nation upside down. Our reality once again changed, but in the wrong direction and for the worse. Rather than continuing on the smooth momentum we had going, which was based on the virus slowing down, we transitioned into a nation based on rage, riots, looting, anarchy and violence.

Did you pay attention to the media? The narrative switched from the coronavirus to riots faster than a bolt of lightening; it’s as if the pandemic almost never happened. The new talk of the town has been these riots. The media does a great job at creating new realities for us, even if these realities do not serve our best intention. How did society suddenly jump from a rare pandemic to a nation boiled on hate? Just because one man suffered an awful and unfair death in Minneapolis?

People suffer many wrongful deaths every day in this world but the media never touches upon them. Why did the media have to go digging and create this entire fiasco? For what? So we can suffer more as if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough? All the media had to do was talk about the incident for one day and then move on. Instead, it added fuel to the fire by raising tensions and stirring up the idea of racism and police brutality.

Instead of the media helping us to transition out of the pandemic and raising awareness for mental health issues for all the people who suffered for the last three months, it decided to infect us with riots, looting and curfews. Are we truly heading towards a new world order? Are these the beginning signs of control by the government? If quarantining and social distancing were not enough, we are now hit with 8 pm curfews. Think outside the box my fellow humans!

Wake up for the enemy is never sleeping.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

How Are You, Really?

Two brunette women talking and smiling next to blue vase with green plant

Mental Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic

As mental illness continues to rise as the pandemic progresses, many of us continue to ignore how others around us are doing because we are too busy focusing on ourselves. Some of us continue to be polite and show interest in others, but deep inside, we only care about ourselves, hoping that the conversation will focus on us and not the other person. But this is the problem with society; we care more to address how we are feeling than how others are feeling. This has to be changed.

From now on, rather than superficially asking another person “How are you?”, let’s add an extra word and take it a step further, “How are you, really?” By just adding one extra word, you place so much more emphasis on the question by showing the other person that you’re willing to engage and listen on a deeper level. This results in the other person opening up about things that he or she would have never previously opened up about.

One approach that you should start using with anyone who you interact with is focusing on what they really have to stay and not what you want to hear. You may not be trained to do so as you’ve been living your entire life focusing on what you have to say or not really listening when others are talking to you. But it’s time to retrain the way you interact with others and this starts by attentively listening to others’ emotions and struggles.

It’s actually fun when you make conversations less about you and more about them. Developing your listening skills is a great tool to have because it actually sets you up in a better position during conversations; it prevents you from divulging unnecessary information without first processing it. It also helps you learn more about others and their ways, helping you understand how different people function and view the world.

People will also appreciate your time more when they see that you really care about what they’re saying. The truth is that even if you try this approach, you may not really care all that much about what others are saying, but with time and practice, it will become part of your repertoire and you will see that you’ll actually start to enjoy listening to what others have to say about themselves.

But most importantly, do it for mental health. So many people are afraid to share their struggles, believing that others don’t care or will make fun of them. Let’s change that for good. Let’s show humanity that we are different and that we are here to help others open up and talk about their struggles with mental illness. We are here to carefully listen and guide others, providing them with hope, strength and power.

How are you, really? Try it.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Thanking The First Responders

Redhead female doctor holding red stethoscope

In Harm’s Way On A Daily

It’s easy to forget about the people who wake up early every day and arrive to work to help others in need while putting their lives at risk. It’s easy to forget because most of us check out and disconnect from those who aren’t in our immediate vicinity; it’s called human nature at play. But as I previously said, sometimes human nature needs to be changed in order to better yourself.

The first responders don’t have to do this; no one forces them to go to work and expose themselves to the coronavirus. They do it because it’s their nature; that’s why they got into their field in the first place, to help people in need! Most first responders are heroes by nature and heroes do not back away from a challenge very easily; instead, the view it as an opportunity to better themselves.

When first responders improve their character, they put themselves in a better position to help people in the future. Without improving your skills, you can only be of help to a certain extent; humanity requires those who go beyond the call of duty because of their drive to exceed in their field. Humanity requires those who are not afraid of a little pain.

I would like to thank the police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, social workers and doctors who are on the front lines every single day. You guys are the ones who are truly keeping this country running; it’s easy for the suits in Washington to meet in their safe havens and pass stimulus packages while the federal reserve uses a printing press that goes “brrr.”

You guys are the ones who are juggling multiple jobs, studying and raising families all while exposing yourselves to COVID-19. Your courage is outmatched by anyone else in society because you are fearless, determined and hungry to save human lives; you do not shy away from a virus that has killed over 100,000 people worldwide. Through your performance others can hopefully learn from and be inspired to step up to the plate for future generations to come.

Thank you!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Socially Depressed

Worried white man with black face mask on

Social Distancing And Depression

For children and adolescents, staying at home may not be so bad; they get to play more video games, read more books or indulge in whatever activity they always craved when they used to be in school. But I’m sure some adolescents are also feeling depressed as they cannot gather in their social cliques as frequently as they used to. There’s no doubt that social distancing is increasing the rate of depression worldwide.

Keep in mind that not everyone is fortunate enough to work from home; many have lost their jobs and are left in ruins. Think about the parents who have children and no longer have an income; how embarrassed must they feel to ask their parents for financial support! Depression is increasing because humans were not created to stay isolated at home; we are not animals locked up in a zoo.

But sometimes it feels like society has turned into a zoo. For the most part, everyone is inside their homes while the few that are brave are walking outside for a breath of fresh air. The thing is that walking outside should not be considered brave because there’s a very small chance that you’ll catch the coronavirus by breathing it; it’s not airborne. The virus spreads via contact and droplets.

Social distancing is controversial but many would argue that it’s not necessary; if people who are healthy wear masks in public, then they should be allowed to return back to work. It’s those who are sick or have weakened immune systems who should stay home. But because the entire world is on lockdown, everyone has a greater chance of developing major depressive disorder.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some people who love being at home all day; their dream of smoking ganja and playing video games all day has come true. But for most people who are financially responsible and work for a living, staying at home is a powerful hit to their psyche. Think about all the college students who are going to graduate this Spring and not be able to enter the workforce because many employers are no longer hiring!

Imagine how depressing it is to end college and almost be guaranteed to not obtain a job? You end up getting a diploma and going back to your parent’s house or in an apartment that your parents will likely pay the rent for. That’s not the best way to kickstart your career; in fact, depression is a very likely outcome. If you think that the coronavirus is only affecting humanity physically, then think again.

Mental illness is likely on the rise.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

We Are Earth

Hand holding mini globe in front of mountains

Experiencing Earth Day

The beauty that this planet has to offer is out of this world, yet humanity is too entangled in sin, physical and mental poverty, war, corruption and destruction. Earth is screaming back at us, “What are you doing? Please stop! No . . . don’t do that!” But no one is listening; it’s as if our ears are malfunctioning and our eyes are no longer 20/20. Even with prayer, the angels in heaven cry, for we continue to sin even in our sleep.

Earth wants us to change and reveal its beauty and secrets to us, but we have to change first before that ever happens. The sad part about it is that Earth’s beauty is right before our eyes, but our senses are clouded by the sins within our hearts. These faulty roots sprout in our hearts if we do not live through God and Earth further becomes Satan’s playground.

Perhaps the coronavirus is a sign from Earth to clean up our act, for Earth is perhaps trying to save the human race before God decides that enough is enough. Are we heading towards another flood as in the times of Noah’s arc? We cannot continue on like this, breeding more selfishness, hate and division among us; we are better than this.

Technology is certainly not helping; it’s making us more disconnected as we rely more closely on “tele this and tele that.” Why have we reached the point where we are more glued to our phones than the beautiful trees, birds and clouds surrounding us on a daily basis? Earth is screaming at us again, “Aren’t I beautiful enough for you? Why are you ignoring me?” But again, no one is listening.

Everyday, we are inching closer to “no earth day;” a time where humanity will be so destroyed that you can even have heaven on Earth appear but it will not matter. At this point, humans will be too engulfed in sin, hatred and lust that the beauty of Earth will no longer be visible; darkness will have stolen whatever little light that was remaining. So let’s stop this inching toward destruction while we still have a chance.

We are blessed to experience another day on this beautiful planet. Happy Earth Day.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Second Wave Is Forming

Digital map with number of total deaths from coronavirus

Coronavirus 2.0

Just when we thought that the coronavirus scare was going way, we were pulled right back in with more news of a second wave expected to hit next winter. However, this wave is expected to be worse because it will be at the start of the influenza season, where two forces will join together to attempt to take down as many humans as possible. The scary part is that we haven’t even finished with the first wave.

So if this is correct, then what will the next 7 months look like? Will we recover from this first coronavirus wave and relax for a while, before we gather the troops at the border and prepare for a second round of bullets? This goes to show you how much more powerful and deadly natural disasters can be as compared to human evilness.

But let’s not ignore all the other natural events that will also continue to occur, such as earthquakes and forest fires in California, hurricanes in Louisiana and Florida and tornados in middle America. In addition, influenza, the common cold and other potential diseases will hit as well. And for those who believe in global warming, well . . . you can add that too.

Let’s not forget the economy which is being slowly destroyed by the current wave of the coronavirus. The federal government is printing trillions of dollars out of thin air as if we had a magical money tree; this tactic will not work in the long run and they know that very well. But they must try something as desperate times call for desperate measures.

With the unemployment rate continuing to rise, many Americans will continue to remain out of work, relying on their savings and potential future governmental stimulus checks. Even if this current coronavirus clears up, many Americans will not be able to go back to work because their businesses are now buried. All of this will further contribute to poor mental health and many Americans will find themselves with a new diagnosis.

How are you handling this current pandemic and the news of a possible second wave this upcoming winter?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

She Has The Cure For The Coronavirus

Anxious red-headed female with sparkles on face

Insanely Delusional

There are some patients who have been experiencing psychosis way before the coronavirus hit; we’re talking months to years. Their current psychosis is nothing new to their family; they remember them exhibiting paranoia, delusions, bizarre behavior, disappearances and odd behavior from a very long time ago. But ever since the coronavirus hit, some of these patients have become extremely delusional.

One delusion that some of these patients hold is believing that they or their significant other has the cure for the coronavirus. No matter how much you gently challenge their delusions, they will look at you straight in the eye and tell you that you are the one who is insane, when all they want to do is go on the news and reveal their cure. But when you stare back at them with no good answer, they start to become agitated and claim that you are suicidal by not believing them!

It’s very intriguing how ill the human mind can get. Can you imagine becoming so delusional that you believe you have the cure for the coronavirus? Any question that you throw back at these patients such as, “What’s the proof? What’s the cure? Can you show or tell me about it?” and they refuse to engage in the conversation, firing back with a response such as, “I will not negotiate with you. I have to get on television to reveal the cure.”

What’s worse is that some of these patients are convinced that the coronavirus not only spreads through the air, but also through food and water; in other words, they believe all food and water is currently contaminated. Unfortunately, some of them start to refuse to eat and drink, destabilizing their electrolytes and putting a heavy strain on their bodies. What makes these patients very challenging is that what was originally a psychiatric issue has now also manifested itself into a medical issue.

And what’s even more psychiatrically challenging is that these patients do not believe that they have a mental illness; on the contrary, they believe that we are the ones who are “crazy” for not allowing them to reveal their cure for COVID-19. You think you have it bad because you are socially distanced at home? Imagine being psychotic and delusional like these patients!

The coronavirus has definitely worsened the mental health of many psychiatric patients. Some of these patients were previously stabilized on medications and have now decompensated, while some were psychotic prior to COVID-19 but have now become even more psychotic to the point of becoming psychiatrically admitted into an inpatient unit. This goes to show you how environmental events can easily affect the mental health of psychiatric patients.

How are you handling the coronavirus pandemic?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mentally Drained By The Coronavirus

Four young people wearing masks and containers on head

Losing Patience

Another day passes by with no positive news to go to sleep with. We’re either isolated at home or going to work only to come back home to the same repetitive stories thrown at us by the media. At this point in time, our lives have changed for the worse; there is no debating it. The reality we once were accustomed to has completely vanished. We now are slowly starting to become mentally drained by the coronavirus.

It’s mentally draining to wake up every day and hear negative news on the media. They keep throwing numbers at us based on different models used by different organizations; it seems that no one model is consistent with another. They reported 240,000 deaths last week and now are saying, “may be less than originally reported.”

It’s mentally draining when every person you know is talking about the coronavirus; it’s like we have forgotten how to talk about other subjects. It’s been a couple of months now of talking about the coronavirus; how much longer are we going to keep mentioning it? The reality is that this may linger into the summer.

It’s mentally draining when your reality revolves around the coronavirus every single day. From the minute that you wake up to the second that you fall asleep, in some shape or form, this topic is on your mind. Can you imagine how disturbing this must be for psychiatric patients who constantly deal with internal battles?

It’s mentally draining when society continues to practice social distancing and you don’t see that many people on the streets. When you go to the grocery store nowadays, there are lines outside in order to prevent close proximity while shopping inside. The way people interact with you has also changed; they keep their distance when engaging with you like you’re somehow contaminated.

Losing patience in this situation is something that many of us are experiencing; you are not alone! How has your life been impacted by COVID-19?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Coronavirus Fear Intensifies

Brunette woman wrapped in yellow "stop" tape holding sign that says "COVID19"

100,000-240,000 Deaths Predicted In The USA

Just when we thought that the coronavirus was going away, we were suddenly slapped in the face with an update about the projected death toll expected to climb to almost a quarter million. It seems that whatever we are doing is not working. They continue to emphasize social distancing, yet the death toll is steadily rising. The coronavirus fear intensifies while we sit in our living room shell-shocked.

Now states are considering passing executive orders for people to stay at home, but what are they going to do when many will disobey these orders? Fine us? Lock us behind bars? Having people locked inside their homes like caged animals does not sound like a tactic that is realistic; it works on paper but is not applicable in real life.

I mean think about it! How can you force people to stay at home without going to work or being productive members of society? Are we going to have the government deliver us food and toilet paper? Can we even get toilet paper anymore? Amazon seems to have let us down; maybe the first time in history! What are we paying Jeff Bezos for? Get us some damn toilet paper!

Can you imagine that it’s 2020 and the United States of America is out of toilet paper and we are sitting in our homes like caged animals? The social distancing technique is showing no signs of progress and the mainstream media (some call it the “lamestream media”) is making us more paranoid and fearful of our current situation.

The mental health of Americans and everyone around the world is taking a huge hit. Many are starting to lose touch with reality and those who were already suffering from depression, anxiety and psychosis are decompensating. The truth is that we shouldn’t blame the government. It’s so easy to point fingers at others while we casually sit in our homes doing nothing productive.

Even though we are becoming more fearful of the current situation, we must remain positive and in good spirits; we cannot let our guard down. The one positive thing about social media during this COVID-19 pandemic (and for those who know me, I’ve been critical of social media in the past) is that it helps to bring us together and prevent us from feeling completely isolated within our home.

Isolation is the cousin of mental illness; this cousin should be outcasted from the family because it only brings upon us negative results. Never isolate yourself; if you find yourself doing so, go take a walk in the park and observe the people around you. Isolation is bad and you should avoid it at all costs.

Let’s continue to connect.

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Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)