Whether you've experienced the virus first-hand or not, chances are COVID-19 is or has affected you.
The Centers for Disease Control reported in August of 2020 that nearly 41 percent of respondents to a survey reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition impacting well-being.
Jessie Shepherd, LCMHC & Clinical Director at Blue Clover Therapy talked to us about two main reasons that may be happening: stress and guilt.
Direct stress is higher due to causes like businesses closing down, the loss of a job, the fear for your life and other health issues. But passive stress is also making everything harder, whether you're fully aware or not. Passive stress are things like social unrest, political unrest and no security in long-term planning.
Jessie says there are actually three types of guilt:
- Natural Guilt: remorse you feel over something you did or did not do. Tends to pass quickly and significantly reduces with remedy.
- Free Floating "Toxic" Guilt: generally feeling like a bad person, not good enough, or that you are always letting people down. This can last long periods of time and can be partnered with depression. Often the 'evidence' for the guilt is either minor or skewed in the person's mind.
- Existential Guilt: the negative feeling that comes up when there is perceived injustice in the world. This is the most difficult form of guilt that can result in PTSD like symptoms: nightmares, sleep issues, social isolation, appetite changes, emotional detachment and avoidance of routine/enjoyable activities.
Jessie offered some mental health survival tips. She says stop trying to be productive. You still need some downtime. Pay attention to how you really feel. Try meditating, journaling, or going for a walk. Confide in someone or something. Take a break from social media. Maintain a healthy diet and stay physically active.
Please reach out if there is concern for your safety: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
And to contact Jessie, visit blueclovertherapy.com.