Pandemic Mental Health Crisis

Black woman in white tank top holding sad child with mask on face

My Mental Health is Deteriorating

The seeds of the pandemic mental health crisis sprouted when we experienced the Spring 2020 lockdowns where non-essential businesses were forced to close. Many people were left without a job and struggling to make ends meet. We all experienced the recommendations of spending less time outdoors to avoid contact with potentially sick pedestrians and limiting our time in stores. I personally used to run in the park and spend time on benches to enjoy nature. Many people also cluttered in parks. But many people also got very scared and listened to everything the media and government told them. They spent their days locked in their apartments staring out their windows in the midst of a brewing depressive and/or anxiety crisis. Some parts of the world today are still experiencing lockdowns, such as Australia. Doesn’t the government know that they contribute to mental health disorders ? Of course they do.

Pandemic Mental Health Crisis: The Jabs

This is a very controversial topic because half of Americans and many across the world are weary about getting vaccinated. These vaccines were released to the public in a year. The average vaccine trial takes about 14 years. In addition, Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines use mRNA technology to deliver the genetic material coding for the viral spike proteins. mRNA vaccines were never previously introduced unto the public. Why did they introduce them now during a pandemic? What are the long-term side effects? To make things even worse, local and state governments as well as the federal government have been pushing vaccine mandates. NYC recently passed a law prohibiting unvaccinated people from indoor dining, going to the gym or any public events without proof of vaccination. Healthcare workers and many other businesses are now being mandated to become vaccinated or risk termination. Don’t you think this raises the stress level of many people who rightfully choose to be unvaccinated? This is increasing the anxiety level in many people. On the other hand, many believe that the benefits of becoming vaccinated outweigh the potential long-term risks of these vaccines. People don’t want to catch COVID! Both sides make great points, but this doesn’t mean that mental illness is not at play here.

Bottles of COVID vaccine

The Unpredictable Future

Considering that the current vaccines only prevent severe illness from COVID and not minor illness, in addition to similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people, will this not result in deadlier strains in the near future? I find it silly that the USA is going to provide booster shots starting the 20th of September. Many third world countries have still not gotten their first shots. Don’t they realize that new variants will arise in those countries, making booster shots essentially meaningless? The point of a booster shot is to raise your antibody levels back up to when you got your last shot 8 months ago. If new variants will arise that will likely be immune to the current vaccines, what is the point of booster shots? All of this is raising the stress levels in many people, causing them to become anxious and depressed, and many even isolated inside their homes.

What is your experience with mental health during this pandemic?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The COVID Pandemic: A Mental Health Crisis smiley GIF face

Words of Encouragement

Blonde white girl spreading arms near body of water

Pandemic: Living in the Era of COVID-19

Take my words of encouragement how you like them. It’s so easy for you (and for us) to wake up every day and dive into a negative state of mind, especially during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. We turn on the news and hope that we don’t hear any more mentions of “lockdowns,” “mandatory vaccines,” “delta variant,” and “masks.” After one minute of the television chirping in the background, we’re already slightly stressed and quickly turn it off. This process is even worse when you’re suffering from a mental illness.

So what are my words of encouragement for you? I know it sounds simple but they are, “practice gratitude and be thankful for what you already have.” A mistake many people make (including myself) is that they constantly desire more in their life, at the expense of practicing gratitude for what they already have. While there’s nothing wrong with desiring more and creating goals to accomplish new dreams, always seeking without practicing gratitude puts you in a “consciousness of lack.” In other words, you attract more of what you don’t have because that’s what your mind is focused on.

Words of Encouragement: You Already Have What You Need

Just remind yourself that you already have more than you need; never forget that. We’re already very selfish by nature so don’t let your environment make you even more selfish. You can imagine how terrible it must be for your psyche if you’re not practicing gratitude, always seeking more and suffering from a mental illness, all while in the middle of a never-ending pandemic. Gratitude is like medicine but we often ignore this potent medicine that lies within us. We’re too focused on our environment rather than internally being thankful for what we have.

Cloud formed as heart in sky

Starting from today, practice gratitude this very moment and continue to do so for the rest of your life. Lastly, I want to mention that I don’t write long blog posts due to time and energy. As a psychiatrist, it’s a challenge to write impressively long content, so I hope you enjoy these short pieces.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Words of encouragement smiley winking GIF face

COVID Lockdowns

Person wearing cheetah coat with gas mask on sitting on couch with toilet paper on table

Life During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the world, multiple countries are implementing 4-week national lockdowns. Whether the U.S. will be next is still yet to be seen, but it is my opinion that national or even local lockdowns are a terrible idea. COVID lockdowns do not work. Take a look at the following reasons why:

  • Small business owners are losing their income
  • The economy is crumbling
  • Many who are home are experiencing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety
  • Many who are home are using more substances such as alcohol and cannabis
  • Lockdowns create uncertainty and fear in many people
  • They force many people with a mental illness to stay home rather than being out and about
  • Lockdowns promote more virtual communication via Zoom and Webex rather than in-person interactions

And the list goes on. The worst part about it is that even if we protest against lockdowns, the federal government will do what they wish. This is a form of control and a big middle finger to the people who elected them in the first place. It’s truly a dark time that we are living in, but we must make the most out of it and remain positive. With the Delta variant surging, don’t be surprised if lockdowns get reinstated in the near future. Vaccines are preventing severe COVID cases, but breakthrough cases in those who are vaccinated are still happening.

COVID lockdowns - people staying home

Will the Delta Variant lead to more COVID Lockdowns?

Because of the many breakthrough cases in vaccinated persons, the Delta variant is showing no signs of slowing down. What will likely happen is that the virus will continue to mutate as more people get vaccinated. This is because the viral load in vaccinated persons is just as high as in those who are unvaccinated. This is buying the virus more time to mutate. Viral mutations are the virus’ survival mechanism; it keeps it alive in nature by dodging threats to its existence. Before scientists have enough time to create more effective vaccines, the virus will likely develop many new strains.

If this continues to happen, the governments will be forced to revisit lockdown measures. But as listed above, lockdowns are clearly bad for our society. Do we have any other options? I believe that lockdowns should never be reinstated ever again. I also don’t believe in vaccine mandates. If the U.S. spent more time providing education on the vaccines rather than promoting vaccine mandates, more people would be willing to take the shots. Instead, we are demonizing those who refuse vaccines, causing further divide among the masses. Rather than vaccine mandates and lockdowns, we need to continue to provide education on vaccines and move on. Life needs to go on while we continue careful measures such as wearing masks in crowded indoor places and washing our hands.

What is your opinion? Do you believe in lockdowns and mandatory vaccines?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

We Will Defeat The Coronavirus

London evening standard newspaper with coronavirus headlines on sidewalk

Together We Can

As the world sadly observes the tragic spread of the coronavirus and as WHO officials declare the situation a pandemic, we sit around wondering what awaits us. Some of us are asking ourselves, “Is this the end of times?” The reality is that things will only get better from here on. We might continue to experience a rise in infections in the short term, but the virus has officially spread throughout the world; it has no where else to go. We will defeat the coronavirus.

As most people know, DSM focuses most of its energy on mental health matters. While the coronavirus is a physical illness, the stress and mental burden that it has brought upon this world is beyond imaginable. A lot of us might think to ourselves, “Doesn’t affect me. I’m good!” But it’s easy to think like that when you don’t have a loved one who is infected or worse, passed away from the virus.

We have to remind ourselves to not joke about such matters because even if it doesn’t affect us, it affects someone else out there. Oftentimes, mental health issues can prove to be much more impactful on one’s life than a physical illness. If you’re not happy or are extremely stressed, it becomes difficult to wake up every day and lead a prosperous life.

The importance of staying positive during a pandemic cannot be emphasized enough. It’s very easy to lose our cool during this tragic time, causing us to make poor and impulsive decisions. Remember that this viral war is not just a physical one, but a mental one as well. Whenever a pandemic is born, so are mental health issues around the world.

We will defeat the coronavirus over time! But we must remain supportive and not fight against each other. Maybe this coronavirus scare is meant to bring humanity closer to each other. Oftentimes, it’s through terrifying events that humanity adopts a more respectful and loving view towards each other. Unfortunately, because we are stubborn, we have to experience some pain in order for us to improve.

But together we can and we will.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

There’s A War On Your Mind

Scared person's hand on glass panel door with red wooden frame

Coronavirus Pandemic Attack

While the coronavirus continues to claim innocent lives all over the world and rob people of their good health, one thing that we must keep in mind is the destruction in mental health that this virus is accomplishing. It’s very easy to forget about the importance of mental health when we have physical symptoms being talked about all over the news. There’s a war on your mind and this one is caused by a virus.

An epidemic is when a disease is widespread in a small region, such as a state, territory or even a country. A pandemic is when the disease is affecting the entire world. Not only has this virus caused a pandemic in terms of physical illness, but mental health as well. This virus is causing chaos in societies all over the world.

This virus attacks our mental health much differently than mental illnesses do. While mental illnesses actually cause neurochemical imbalances in our brains, this virus wreaks havoc through fear, panic and anxiety. A small group of people may not be mentally affected, but when you have regions of the world that are impacted by the virus, it starts to take a toll on the mental health of humanity.

When panic ensues, poor decisions are made, people become quarantined, businesses fall apart and global economies crash. If the virus does not stop its reign, it can lead to even worse scenarios such as violence in the streets, robberies, terrorism and extreme panic. Extreme panic of the masses can lead to a global catastrophe.

During times as these, it’s important to remain calm and carry on without giving the situation too much thought. There’s a good chance that you may be exposed to the virus, but this does not mean that you’ll become symptomatic. You’ve been sick before and you’ll be sick again in the future; don’t allow a virus to get to your head.

Riding this rollercoaster with a stable head on your shoulders is key to getting through this global scare. This virus will not go on forever.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Pandemic: Coronavirus Gone Wild

Turquoise medical face mask on ground

New York State Of Emergency

New York state has declared a state of emergency due to coronavirus infections rising. While the government is doing its job to allocate resources and provide accurate information on the current crisis, it’s not really doing a great job at easing panic and preventing mental health issues from arising. The New York state of emergency is nothing more than a warning telling us, “it’s here and getting worse.”

The thing is that these kinds of messages do not help us. We all know from the mainstream media that the coronavirus has gone wild, whether naturally or after being genetically engineered; the truth, no one will find out. But one thing is for certain: the virus is out and potentially deadly.

But does all of this information affect us in any way? Do you really believe that by New York, California and other states declaring states of emergency, we will suddenly be more cautious to not acquire the virus? If the virus has spread all the way from China, then you best believe that whether you acquire it or not does not depend on the mainstream media or governmental warnings.

So what is the solution? As previously said, you need to continue living your life as if nothing has changed. Continue to wash your hands like you always have and stay away from people who cough. Wearing a mask will not decrease your chances of acquiring the virus. The virus can spread via touch as well.

One of the most important preventative tactics from becoming infected is maintaining a positive mindset. If you allow fear to penetrate you, then you are already making yourself vulnerable to becoming sick. Fear attracts negativity and bad results. During times of pandemics, you need to remain calm, vigilant and positive.

Don’t allow all the negative news to get to your head. In other words, don’t become part of the hysteria. As long as you maintain good hygiene, smart practices and a positive attitude and mindset, you will stay clear of this virus. This will not go on forever.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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