By: Jessica A. Conner-Glynn, LMSW / Edited by: the NYCRA NEWS writing staff
Observing the many emotional after-effects of our ‘new Covid lifestyle’, I find a link between stepping away one's our work environment and a direct improvement in one’s well-being. The surge of the coronavirus pandemic brought a unique kind of widespread emotional disorder called LANGUISHING- an issue identified as somewhere between a downturn ‘blah’, emptiness or depression causing a type of burnout from mandatory social distancing.
Many of us are working really hard in the same place that we actually live- removing that safe separation between work and home that we once had. The shift in working at home takes away that place to relax and shut down, eventually causing a state of emotional exhaustion from staying ON (and on guard) the whole time. There is also a physical aspect to all this; the new sedentary lifestyle of working from home eliminates the vital energy stimulation from circulation and cardiovascular activity of physical traveling. In addition, self-isolating has induced an unhealthy weight gain in many, also adding to this malaise.
This Languishing is one subset of elevated ANXIETY. Whether it be the fear of getting COVID or its effects after having been infected, the wide range of possible effects add a constant load of stress on our sense of stability and peace of mind. One of the heaviest impacts on the psyche is the LONELINESS that comes from self-isolating. This answers for the rising trend in social anxiety from the abrupt absence of engaging with others (let it be friends and family or just seeing people on the street) – adding to their lack of confidence in the world.
BREAKDOWN FROM SYSTEMIC PANIC
Heightened anxiety unchecked or unaddressed can lead to a cascade of internal breakdown. A sense of helplessness and loss of hope from any situation is something we try to prevent as part of our survival instincts. Anxiety and depression are very closely related. In the brain, there is something called the amygdala which carries our fear response. Enough anxiety can cause this to malfunction from its ability to enact the fight or flight mode- cycling to this sense of helplessness and hopelessness, then driving the anxiety into depression. “There's nothing I can do to feel better” will turn into “I'm never going to be okay…” then into “The world is a very negative place and I don't want to be here anymore”.
REVERSING HOPELESSNESS & SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
One of the main focus points in suicide prevention is for people to know that there's somebody out there that can support them- and that THEY ARE NOT ALONE. Suicide prevention hotlines work directly this way, as does psychotherapy, support groups and outreach / interventions- all acts embodying the access to HOPE.
As a professional in practice, my job is to make myself available when someone falls in that space of loss of hopelessness. If I assess that somebody has any sort of suicidal ideation at the end of each session, we do a safety contract. When a safety contract looks like, if you're going to, if you feel scared that you're going to hurt yourself,
#1. Call 9-1-1
#2. Reach out to me (or your therapist)
#3. Call prevention hotline
Not being alone is actually very helpful. When people are suicidal, they're scared and untrusting of anyone- so we take their calls very seriously. I can be on the phone with them and actually, virtually walk them to the door of the hospital, affirming that they're going to be safe.
Can an Ultrasound Probe Scan SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or PTSD?
June, 2021- The medical community continues advancing its efforts to mitigate the health effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the 'borderless' collective of scientists and regulatory initiatives, infection rates are now showing a significant drop within vaccinated areas. In addition, mental health programs are also working full-time to address the pandemic related spike in DEPRESSION cases. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (9/2020) showed an increase in cases 3 times the national count from pre-pandemic years. Factors such as economic anxieties, social isolation and fears of infection have formed a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS. Additionally, a recorded rise in substance abuse & a surge in violent crimes are also attributed to this pandemic.
The medical community continues advancing its efforts to mitigate the health effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the 'borderless' collective of scientists and regulatory initiatives, infection rates are now showing a significant drop within vaccinated areas. In addition, mental health programs are also working full-time to address the pandemic related spike in DEPRESSION cases. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (9/2020) showed an increase in cases 3 times the national count from pre-pandemic years. Factors such as economic anxieties, social isolation and fears of infection have formed a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS. Additionally, a recorded rise in substance abuse & a surge in violent crimes are also attributed to this pandemic.
MODERN PROTOCOLS: MODALITY INTEGRATION & HIGH-SPEED COMMUNICATION
Research continues to advance our abilities to diagnose any health issue. As people undergo new and different challenges interpersonally, emotionally and mentally, science also continues to find more efficient tools and approaches to identify disorders and solutions. The paradigm of INTEGRATING modalities, essentially forming a collaboration between various disciplines is always your best bet to healing- where experts share data and assemble new strategies that would not have been possible if specialists stayed isolated their beliefs. It is this same teamwork that helped to fast track solutions for the pandemic, what was not evident in other pandemics in history.
I support the integration of medical imaging technologies to scan, monitor and help assess mental disorders. “Partnerships with imaging experts can be a powerful and scientific game changer- this can allow us to quantify physiological and neurological evidence aligned with these disorders. Imaging adds a new level of confirmation or data detection, data measurement and response tracking to support patient care professionals towards treatment.”
Moreover, our advanced information and communication technologies greatly added to the global collaboration of solutionists. As an example, imagine how the Spanish flu could have been better managed in our digital world? A brief view of the limited resources in 1918-1920 vs our current tools of today certainly identifies the difference in their respective end points.
Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in varying levels of adversity. With all health disorders, the fight to restore wellness is a battle that we all deserve to win. Thanks to our information age, we have access to a world of health solutions ranging from allopathic & pharmaceutical to holistic and naturopathic. If quarantining or social distancing has gotten the better of you, here are a few tools to help get you back on track.
¡ STAY IN MOTION: go for walks every hour
¡ GET OUTSIDE: sun, air and space are all mental medicines and grounding
¡ MEDITATE: Center the mind from stress, anxiety and depression
¡ LISTEN TO MUSIC: A great way to keep your mind in motion
¡ EAT SUPERFOODS: Diet and nutrients greatly affect mood and perspective
1) NYT 4/19/2021: There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing
2) Verywellmind.com: Languishing Is the Mood of 2021, How to Identify It and How to Cope
3) CDC: Coping with Stress https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
4) Health.harvard.edu: Could COVID-19 infection be responsible for your depressed mood or anxiety?
5) mdanderson.org: COVID-19 blues vs. depression: How to tell the difference
ABOUT THE AUTHORJESSICA CONNER-GLYNN
, LCSW, CPC, CEC / Dir. of Health Responders Mental Health Program - As a therapist and coach, a lot of my work with clients is helping to manage symptoms of anxiety and panic- that which manifests in physical, often frightening and alarming ways. We can experience things like racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, numbness in arms and legs which can all make us feel like we are out control of our bodies and our surrounding world. When we have experienced a traumatic event in our lives, these feelings can be even more severe and heightened. The trauma and residually related fear is one that is very close to my heart and a reason I can provide empathy and understanding to clients that have been affected by the horrific day. When we work to process physical emotions that arise from trauma, the hope is that one day we can be less affected by it and live more presently to enjoy life’s fulfilling moments. I work with clients to slowly pull apart the physical emotions we experience from the thoughts that we are having and process them in a more self-aware and grounded way., visit her website- www.jagtheracoach.com