While it is true older and those with compromised immunity are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19 – but what people aren’t talking about is the panic and anxiety this pandemic is causing with those who have a mental illness. I have Fibromyalgia, so even a common cold can keep me down for weeks. One of the effects on my body, thanks to Fibromyalgia, is that I have an immune system that is continually struggling to keep up.
I also have OCD, and the intrusive thoughts lately have been a steady constant. Usually, I can just let them come and go. Acknowledge the feeling or the worry of bad things happening, realize that it hasn’t happened and when/if they do, I am strong enough to handle it. But, for the last few days, it hasn’t worked.
Mental Health during this time is JUST as important as washing your hands. Reach out, talk about it. Don’t hold it in; don’t be afraid to share because of the stigma of over-reacting. You may be more sensitive to the news and commentary that is going around, and that is okay. You may find you have to kick your efforts up a few notches to keep yourself from your flight, fight or freeze responses.
I am trying to avoid news outlets, and when I hear or see something that is triggering, I check out the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control websites daily.
A community-driven information site that you may want to look into FluTrackers.com
I am making sure that I have enough of my medications on hand and other items that I require for my well-being on hand. I am using my calming techniques to assuage the niggling voice that is telling me to PANIC. Thankfully, my framily is full of medical professionals that have the CORRECT information, and they are clarifying things for me.
If you feel like you need help, you should speak to your mental health provider, reach out to your community (support groups and such). Plan as well as you can and make sure you have your medications and other items that you require for your well-being on hand.
Be safe, be well, and wash your hands.
**The link below is an article that is quite old but it is a good read**