Have you had your mental health checked?
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Did you know you are a candidate for mental health issues?

Any mental health specialist will tell that no one is immune to mental health problems. Whenever this topic is mentioned, most have been known to either disregard it or to take it to be petty. Some think that mental health issues are restricted to people who belong to social class, race, demeanor, or economic status. Before we get to how to maintain us in check mentally, let’s bust some myths oscillating around mental health.

What brings about mental health issues?

Causes of mental health issues are mainly populated with mythical rumors and whispers. Right from mild conditions that include stress disorders, to the hefty ones like schizophrenia, mental health issues are brought about by several factors. While most studies have related mental health issues to genetics, the environment in which one is brought up can equally predispose one to mental health conditions. Before you get it all wrong, the term environment is broad and cuts around the availability and unavailability of everyday basic needs and the socialization from the surrounding people.

Human beings live their life following specific patterns; if these patterns get interference, we decipher it as change. Change is inevitable; however, abrupt change makes us uncomfortable, thus unwelcome. Change can cause stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, depending on the positivity and negativity that comes with it.

 In the wake of coronavirus, the world is witnessing an almost overnight change of ordinary life. Following the seemingly unexpected explosion of cases worldwide and the World Health organization’s guidelines to curb this virus, the tables have somewhat turned. Significant issues of mental breakdown and associated problems are now being recorded.

Want to know why the cases have risen more? Here are three significant reasons:

Ingredients fueling the rise of mental health issues

Pandemic’s economic and financial strain

Unfortunately, just as the number of cases started reducing, a second wave started whirling. All along, nations around the world have been taking precautionary measures in line with W.H.O guidelines. While this has seen the number of mortalities and morbid cases reduce, the world’s economy has been critically injured. In any case, the pandemic watered down the efforts that had realized significant improvement in economic growth across most countries. Consequently, companies and businesses have temporarily shut down while others lay off employees. Millions of people have become jobless yet cooped up in their houses with no income to pay their bills or feed their families.

This prolonged stress and uncertainty may be the perfect ingredient to an explosion of anxiety disorders as a mental health illness.

Sudden social and cultural changes

The maxim “no man is an island” might just have been turned against its inventors with the constant emphasis on social distancing. Man thrives best in the company of others; thus, he is a social being. When W.H.O recommended social distancing as one of the guidelines to control the spread of coronavirus, measures have been put to halt social gatherings. Consequently, most people have been cooped up in their houses for months reducing physical. Problem shared is a problem half solved; in this case, it is difficult to convey the situation since you don’t even know how the other person is. For this reason, those with existing mental disorders and mental illness may worsen in silence.

Internet and social media

Have you ever tried to think about how life would be if there were no internet? I bet it is unimaginable. The internet has seen most of the processes become more effortless. Communication, businesses, meetings, and even recently, education are just a simple click of a button away. Online platforms have been a blessing for everyone, especially in the wake of COVID-19, meetings being conducted virtually among others.

While all is true, some people have used the internet to propel cynical propaganda is being released to the public, causing a lot of paranoia. Social media has also been a significant boost to cyberbullying and the extreme sharing of private information with almost everything been done online. When there is a string of fake news in the media, a wave of panic buying emerges. 

Besides, there have been misinformations on the mode of transmission and inpatient disturbing videos going viral. Although the public is becoming aware of fake news, those who are still naïve can be prone to significantly prolonged fear of contracting the virus or loved ions contracting the virus. Extreme and prolonged paranoia can make one delusional.

When do you seek a mental health professional?

During this pandemic, it is easy for one’s mental health to be disrupted due to a change in routine, stress, and uncertainty. These symptoms would help guide you know when to seek help:

  1. When you always feel unhappy and sad, along with a lack of enthusiasm towards life or any activity.
  2. Persistent fear, worry, and or paranoia because of fear of getting sick or loved one’s getting sick.
  3. Being extra moody in a way that you become almost dysfunctional.
  4. Suicidal thoughts and or the urge to harm yourself.
  5. Addiction of substances, drugs, pornography since you are in the house most of the time.
  6. Inability to cope with a sudden change like losing a loved one, prolonged separation from loved due to patients’ isolation. Frontline workers may be moved from their homes.
  7. Change in eating habits, overeating or not eating while moody.
  8. Loss of appetite.
  9. You might need to get a mental assessment from the doctor due to a sudden change in sleeping routine or behavior.insomnia from worrying or overthinking.

How to assess your mental health

The best way to assess your mental health is to see a doctor.

Usually, your doctor will perform a mental health assessment. Your physician will take down your health history and also perform a physical examination before making a diagnosis. The physician will also ensure you are clear and have no other underlying ailments.

Alternatively, you can take an online assessment that gives results instantly. Remember, online reviews may not be accurate and or reliable.

How to keep mentally healthy

You must be wondering, how do I maintain my mental health in a time of global crisis? Well, here are tips just for you:

Physical exercises.

Exercises come in handy during this time. When talking about workouts, think not only about the extraneous activities; you can do routine walks and jogs around your estate. If the gym is not available, take advantage of the park or even the extra space in your house to do home workout routines. Exercising will help you release all that tension. It will also help you keep fit.

Keep a diary or a work schedule.

Most of our routines have been interfered with, and as we said, a handful of us don’t like change. To avoid confusion and the feeling of loss of control, you can make weekly schedules and daily diary to keep you focused all week long. Once a day is over, review your journal to see whether you followed through with your weeks or day’s plan.

Be social from a distance.

Thanks to the internet, we can maintain social contact without being physically close to one another. Maintain physical distance, but do not withdraw from your friends and family call; chat with them. Be careful though you don’t compare yourself with other posts, don’t want to have esteem issues. Social media addiction is real; beware.

 Fake news is on the rise. Take caution of your source of information; you don’t want to be panic buying or panicking for no reason. Verify information on any platform from trusted sources before you believe it.

Work on your personal growth

You can make this work from home a blessing in disguise; explore your talents, weaknesses, strengths, and work to improve your weaknesses. Realize that it’s a hard time for everyone and don’t be too harsh on yourself.