Understanding mental health during the pandemic


Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Yaelin Ramirez, Staff Reporter

The coronavirus has affected many people around the world. Not only from physically getting sick from the virus or having your loved ones pass away, but it also affects your mental health. COVID-19 came out of the blue in January 2019, and because of this, there has been a state shutdown all over the globe.

Many people around the world had to be stuck at home, work from home and many others became unemployed. Most Americans would only see daylight from their windows instead of going outside and having the sun touch their skin. However, the shutdown was to help prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this pandemic can cause stress. Stress impacts people in several ways:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Fear and worry about your financial situation or your job or the loss of support of the services you rely on
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficultly sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobacco and/or alcohol and other substances

Who can you call for help?

If you are feeling an increase in stress, it can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions. CDC’s website provides numbers you can call or text to help you out during your crisis. Don’t be hesitant to call or text, get the hell you need.

What is mental health? 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and contribute to his or her community.

WHO also says that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities; peak mental health is about avoiding active conditions and looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.

According to Medical News Today, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that about 1 in 5 adults experience mental problems each year. NAMI estimated in 2017 that 11.2 million adults in the United States had a severe physiological condition.

Mental health risks
No matter your age, sex, income or ethnicity, everyone has risks of developing a mental health disorder. In the United States and other countries, mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability.

Social and financial circumstances, biological factors and lifestyle choices can be the cause of mental health. Typically a lithe portion of people with a mental health disorder has more than one condition at a time.

According to Medical News Today, researchers explained the difference in the availability and quality of mental health and how one can change them or not. Researchers explain that these can be improved:

  • Socioeconomic conditions, such weather work is available in the local area
  • Occupation
  • A person’s level of social involvement
  • Education
  • Housing  quality

Researchers also list what can’t be improved:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity

Researchers explained that the study lists gender as a modifiable or nonmodifiable factor. Researchers have found that being female increased the risk of low mental health status by 3.96 times. They also found that people with a weak economic status also scores highest for mental health conditions. The National Institute of Mental Health explains one can get a mental health condition by genetic, which is a higher risk than someone who did not get it genetically. Although having a gene link to mental health such as depression or schizophrenia does not guarantee that disorder will develop. Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety may develop life-changing physical health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain.

Most common signs of mental health? 

  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorder
  • Schizophrenia

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorder is the most common type of mental illness. People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety; many people with an anxiety disorder will avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety.

Improving your mental health 

These are some examples you can do on your own to help with your mental health.

  • Limit yourself from social media
  • Stop living someone else’s life
  • Write it out in a journal
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Take vitamins
  • Talk to people