NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

The Isolation impact: Quarantine’s effects on mental health

The monotonous infinity of days passing, a lack of social and physical contact, all while having remote access to any substance you could possibly want to purchase. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma, with many reporting specific negative impacts on their mental and physical health, such as difficulty sleeping and eating, increases in alcohol consumption and substance use, and worsening chronic conditions.

During the current global situation, both children and adults are experiencing a mix of emotions. They have been placed in situations and/or environments that are new and scary, which can be potentially damaging to their health. Many blame job insecurity and removal from social settings for the increase in depression and anxiety, while others say that fear of catching COVID-19, and being cooped up in the house with your family without taking any time for yourself is to blame.

One group that is struggling with mental health issues but is constantly overlooked are first responders and health-care workers.

With the rate of physician suicide being nearly double that of the general population, doctors and nurses have to deal with all of the same burdens that everyone is, all while taking care of those sick and dying.

They are dealing with high amounts of stress at due to a surplus of patients, understaffing, and high patient mortality, as well as everyday stressors such as the fear of contracting and spreading COVID, inability to see family members and friends, lack of sleep, and malnutrition. While many have sought out treatment, there are still a large number who refuse to due to fear that the stigma around mental health issues will ruin their careers.

Some ways to deal with the stress of the pandemic are taking breaks to unwind, practicing a hobby, listening to music, working out at home or outdoors, connecting with family and friends over Zoom/Skype, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.

If you are experiencing symptoms of stress, depression, and/or PTSD, there are many resources at your disposal such as, www.samhsa.gov, www.mentalhealth.gov, www.nimh.nih.gov, and many others. If you are contemplating suicide, please visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org and use the webchat feature, call 800-273-8255, or visit afsp.org to find a local support group and/or therapist.

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