He described to me a rising sense of paranoia. An intense premonition that everything is about to go wrong. Maybe he’ll lose his job. Maybe he’ll get sick. Maybe someone he loves will die. Maybe he won’t be able to refill the prescription which he needs to manage his anxiety.
He is far from alone in these types of fears.
An elderly friend recently reached out to me. She was on her second glass of wine before 1:00 p.m., and she was beside herself worrying about whether our local liquor store might close during the shutdown. The only thing that stops her panic attacks these days, she said, is a drink.
As states continue in shutdown mode and social distancing becomes the new national etiquette, we are seeing a rise in anxiety and depression. Sadly, we will likely also see a rise in issues like alcoholism, suicide, eating disorders, and abuse.
We are stressed. And we are isolated. For those with pre-existing conditions, this is a dangerous time. Even people who’ve never struggled with anxiety or depression before are finding themselves hard-pressed to stay calm and positive.
So, here are five observations about the challenges we’re facing, and tips for how to cope with them.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Frank Mckenna