COVID 19 Chronicles: Isabella
My name is Isabella, and I have anxiety. This means that I often worry about little things, overanalyze everything, and begin to panic when I feel out of control. In everyday life, I manage pretty well; in fact, most people do not even know that I have anxiety.
But, when the national panic over COVID-19 began, it became increasingly difficult to manage my anxiety symptoms in such a chaotic time. All of the feelings of helplessness and fear that I usually try to supress were being widely talked about on the news, among friends, at school, work, and even just walking down the street.
These feelings are normal in the midst of a crisis. But for me, the external panic caused by COVID-19 combined with the internal panic that I feel most of the time heighten my anxiety above the level that someone without the disorder would experience during this time.
“Those who struggle with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. COVID-19 can add to one’s ‘typical’ levels of stress and worry,” explains professional counselor Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, Ph.D. in an article in the U.S. News and World Reports journal.
However, while this time has been incredibly difficult for me and others who struggle with mental health, there is help available. I have found that I am able to manage my anxiety, even in this heightened state through talking to my therapist, leaning on family, friends, and faith, and practicing other healthy coping techniques.
So, I would like to say to all those people who are struggling with their mental health during this time: do not give up. There is help available and there are people around you who love you and care about you. Do not be afraid to reach out to counselors and other mental-health professionals. They want to help you.
To friends and family members of those with mental health concerns, be supportive, reach out, and simply be there to listen. In times such as these, it is just important to let those around you know that even if you cannot be with a person physically, you still love and care for them.