I’m sure it is no surprise or shock to point out how people are suffering from all that is happening in our world with COVID-19. Of course, the rise in mental health struggles has been both created and accentuated throughout these periods of isolation, being stuck with only the people you live with, the loss of a job, working from home, and not being able to attend events such as funerals, weddings and birthday parties. Throughout these winter months, which are usually quite depressing already, adding in lockdowns, isolation and the uncertainty of life “getting back to normal” only makes matters so much worse.
I see the rise of clients seeking out therapy and the importance of receiving counselling during these challenging times. Even some companies that used not to have mental health insurance for their employees are starting to add counselling and psychotherapy to their employees’ plans. This on its own should speak to how peoples’ mental health is deteriorating during the pandemic.
Here is an elaboration of some things that are causing a lot of people difficulties:
We are all aware of how big a role isolation plays in this COVID scenario, considering we are mainly only able to see those we live and maybe work with. Some people live alone and are extroverted people where they recharge in large groups or with multiple people, and these people are suffering heavily right now. Not everyone has good, close friendships, which could cause a lot of feelings of loneliness.
Being stuck with the people you live with:
Whether this is your parents, children, a roommate or a partner, it can be very challenging to spend every waking hour stuck with the people you live with. Some extreme scenarios where the people you live with are emotionally, psychologically, physically and/or sexually abusive. Imagine how hard it would be to find a new place or get away from someone like that during these times. Even in the very best of circumstances where you get along well with the people you live with, normally you wouldn’t be home with them 24/7! You would go out, invite people over, work at the office, etc. Even the best of relationships within families and partnerships are being challenged right now.
Losing your job:
Whether you can’t work because your work isn’t open yet or if your company had to let you go, financially speaking, this is a tough time for many people, depending on their line of work. If this is you, I really hope you can find something else that aligns with you or cannot afford to work for the foreseeable future.
While it is hard for people (especially extroverts) not to attend events or celebrate birthdays, weddings, baby showers and more, I would say the most heartbreaking events not to be able to attend our funerals. While some people are doing funerals and unveilings through online platforms like zoom, many people are not comfortable or happy with the lack of ability to say a proper goodbye to their friends or family members when they pass away during the pandemic.
Working from home:
If you are working from home, many factors can be difficult here, whether it’s hard to be productive or hard not to overwork yourself. Some families with children are suffering immensely right now, having the whole family at home working and doing online school. This is very challenging for families to be sure they are getting their work done and that the children are focusing and being productive during online school. Just working at home with your family or your partner also working from home can be distracting and challenging, especially if you’re living in a small house or apartment.
If reading this resonates with you and any of the struggles I mentioned here are causing you difficulty in your own life, I am aware that I can’t fix the situation with COVID. Still, I believe that psychotherapy can help you by providing you with a compassionate, validating approach, the knowledge that you are not alone, and the appropriate coping skills to help you get through this pandemic and any of the challenges that have come along with it.