Self care, Treatments, and Ketamine Infusion Therapy in NYC
The stressors imparted by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on almost every aspect of our lives. Due to the lack of effective treatment against it and its high transmissibility, the world has taken strict measures to curtail its spread by imposing strict lockdowns, giving work- from-home orders, and promoting social distancing. Months of isolation combined with unemployment, lack of social interaction, constant fear regarding health risks, dealing with the grief of tragically losing loved ones, and the thoughts of an uncertain, unforeseeable future have been mentally grueling for everyone. COVID-19 can pose a threat to the mental health of every one, especially those suffering from depression.
As we continue to applaud the tireless efforts of front-line workers, including doctors, nurses, police officers, and essential service employees, an important issue remains unaddressed; and that is the immediate and long lasting mental health implications of this health crisis. It is predicted that with the unique and prolonged stresses caused by this pandemic, there will be a considerable rise in the number of number of people experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD in the months and years to come.
HOW THE PANDEMIC CAN AFFECT DEPRESSION
Depression is a mental health condition that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
As the pandemic forces many of us to be alone, isolated and away from loved ones, people suffering from depression become more vulnerable and susceptible to experiencing worsening symptoms as they navigate through this stressful time. Many crisis centers have reported a more than 30%-40% rise in the number of people seeking help and have also expressed concern that these numbers may rise even further.
Humans are designed for social interaction. Being alone can cause many to have ruminating thoughts and fears, accompanied by overwhelming emotions:
- The fear of contracting the virus
- Financial crisis
- Difficulty in coping with personal losses
- Hopelessness about the unknown future
- Increasing anxiety while stepping out for essentials
- Loss of touch with friends and family
- The pressure of being productive at all times
These persistent thoughts can easily lead to severe anxiety and depression.
HOW TO TAKE CARE YOURSELF
During this pandemic, not only do we have to look after our physical, health but we also have to mind our mental well-being. Here are some tips and precautions that may help with the overwhelming stress and anxiety
Take a break from the news and social media
While social media and news outlets are a great source to keep up with the constantly evolving situation, it is vital to take a break from them. Listening continuous to COVID-19 reporting can sow the seeds of negative emotions and anxiety.
Stay physically active
Exercise releases serotonin, which is also called the happy hormone, as it helps elevate the mood. Meditation and yoga promote muscle relaxation and also aid with proper breathing. The overall effect can be relaxing for the body as well as the mind.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential when it comes to maintaining a sound immune system and general well-being. Cut down on junk and processed food items and incorporate more greens into your daily diet.
Control your thoughts
Keep yourself calm and collected, and do not let your mind wander into negative thoughts and presumptions. COVID-19 is not the sole reason for a cough. Do not
over-think and take every day as it comes to you.
Try to give your daily life a normal structure. Go out for a walk or engage in a conversation with your friends and family over online video chats. Maintaining some structure to your day and keeping a routine may help with anxiety.
Be kind to yourself
It is normal to feel anxious and stressed during a pandemic. You must always remind yourself that the current circumstances are far from normal. Give yourself a break and do not overwork yourself. Talk to your friends and maintain a social connection with your peers digitally.
Seek and maintain professional help
Mental health is just as important as physical health and a basic requirement to live a happy and healthy life. Online therapy sessions are now readily available and a convenient option. Your therapist can provide helpful guidance and awareness, especially during this stressful time, which can help you maintain mind and body wellness.
Depression is a mental health condition that requires professional treatment like any other health condition. Treatment modalities include
Psychotherapy and assessment
Mental health experts can help bring mindful awareness of yourself and promote meaning changes in your thought processes and everyday life
A long standing treatment for depression, guided by a psychiatrist.
Ketamine infusion therapy
A new and very promising way of treating major depression, even resistant ones. It is safe and very effective, alleviating even severe symptoms as early as a few hours after the infusion treatment.
As the lockdown continues in many places, seeing a psychotherapist may not be an option. Online counseling, however, is now readily accessible more than ever. When combined with lifestyle modifications, the result can be significant.
WHEN TO SEEK HELP
If you have been experiencing any of the following signs persistently for more than 2 weeks, it is important to seek help
Constant feeling of emptiness and/or hopelessness
Disturbed sleep pattern
Inability to concentrate
Lack of energy
Even though the world may seem out of sorts right now, uncertain and filled with despair, know that this is all temporary. As you play your part in flattening the curve in order to stay healthy and to protect your loved ones, you must also focus on yourself and not fall prey to your worst thoughts and impulses. Relax, breathe, and know that you are not alone. Help is available and things will get better.