Coronavirus and Mental Wellness
- Although the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been linked to many physical symptoms, it can inadvertently affect the mental wellbeing of those dealing with the virus and their families.
- It is crucial to identify any symptoms of depression and find healthy ways to manage them.
- Medical assistance is available to help people who may be dealing with depression relating to the coronavirus pandemic or others who are experiencing severe stress or anxiety during the crisis.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has put the physical wellbeing of the global population in danger. At the same time, COVID-19 has resulted in a pandemic that can cause anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.
In this episode of the Smile podcast, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a Harvard-trained and dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and Dr. Katrin Dardashti, a leading mental health expert, discuss the pandemic’s impact on mental health. Dr. Azizzadeh and Dr. Dardashti also explore ways people can manage their mental health throughout the pandemic.
Can the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause People to Experience Depression Symptoms?
The COVID-19 pandemic can cause people to experience sadness, loneliness, and other depression symptoms. Why these symptoms occur and how they impact people can vary for several reasons.
Social distancing and the need to isolate from others, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic, has contributed to a rise in depression symptoms globally. The inability to spend time with family members, friends, and coworkers to help slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19 led people to experience prolonged periods of isolation. In these instances, people are increasingly prone to depression symptoms that can make it tough to function.
COVID-19 has also resulted in an increase in Zoom calls and other virtual meetings, due to the fact that people have been urged to stay at home as much as possible during the pandemic. Virtual gatherings allow people to connect with one another face to face, but they differ greatly from in-person meetings. As such, people may join virtual meetings but long for the days when they can engage with others in-person, which can lead to depression symptoms.
Stress relating to the pandemic can contribute to severe depression as well. There is no telling when the pandemic will end, and it has caused people to spend extended time isolated from others and away from activities they previously enjoyed. The pandemic has also caused businesses to furlough or lay off employees, which has caused financial uncertainty and stress for these workers and their families.
How to Cope with Depression During the Pandemic
Depression is a major problem, but there are safe, effective ways to manage it every day, even in the midst of the pandemic.
A healthy diet can make a world of difference, and it can help people keep depression symptoms at bay. Consuming foods that contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can help people feel their best, so they are well-equipped to manage their depression.
Along with a healthy diet, developing and maintaining an exercise regimen can be beneficial. People can still go outside and walk during the pandemic, as long as they wear a mask to cover their nose and mouth and maintain a minimum of 6 ft. from others. Gyms are reopening in cities and towns across the United States and are following safety protocols to keep guests safe, too.
Engaging in daily or weekly phone or video chats with family members and friends can also be helpful during the pandemic. These chats provide opportunities for people to share their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic and realize that they are not alone in coping with depression.
If depression symptoms escalate, people should seek medical treatment. Depression can be managed, and doctors are available who can treat patients remotely. With proper treatment, people can find healthy ways to manage their depression symptoms before they get out of hand.
Learn More About the Coronavirus and Mental Wellness
In episode 10 of the Smile podcast, Dr. Azizzadeh and Dr. Dardashti provide insights into COVID-19 and how to limit the impact of depression symptoms throughout the pandemic. To learn more, please download the podcast today.