As we continue to navigate through this tumultuous year, it's no surprise that our mental health is being affected.
In June, the CDC reported that 40 percent of adults in the U.S. have reported that they are struggling with mental health or substance abuse.
Nearly 41 percent of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder (30.9%), symptoms of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) related to the pandemic (26.3%), and having started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19.
Whether its the fear of your own health or those you loved, difficulty with maintaining healthy eating or sleep patterns or an increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, there are ways that you can help take care of yourself and those around you.
The Maryland Department of Health suggests taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and attempting to take part in activities that you enjoyed prior to the pandemic if you can do so safely.
Make time to unwind and remember that this will eventually end. These strong feelings will fade. Talk to people. Share your concerns and worries with a friend, family member or a professional.
Dr. David Marcozzi, COVID-19 incident commander for the University of Maryland Medical System, stated that we are "entering a period of high risk these next few months."
"I think we also need to recognize that this virus doesn't just affect us physically," Marcozzi said. "It affects us mentally."
Marcozzi explained, that this has affected him personally, as he lost a friend to suicide. He paused for a few moments to collect himself before continuing.
"Let's make sure we stay connected," he continued. "Let's make sure we reach out. Let's make sure we support each other and talk to a professional if helpful."
Everyone handles stress, anxiety and depression in different ways, but here are a few resources provided by the CDC if you're in need of assistance.
- How Right Now
- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- HHS ASPR TRACIE COVID-19 Behavioral Health
- Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact
- Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak pdf
- Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health during an Infectious Disease Outbreak pdf
For Families and Children
- Helping Children Cope during an COVID-19 Outbreak
- Helping Children Cope with Emergencies
- Coping After a Disaster pdf – A Ready Wrigley activity book for children age 3-10
- Teen Depression
For additional resources, provided by the Maryland Department of Health, click here.