Along with a worldwide outbreak, pandemic brings in severe health anxiety.
Being proactive about mental health keeps both, the mind and the body strong.
There are a few ways that can be helpful in taking care of you:
- Reading news but from a reliable source
- Recognizing things that control the spread of a particular illness, the major being maintaining good hygiene
- Practicing self-care
- Taking medical help from a licensed professional, if required
In the mid of protecting yourself from the outbreak, you tend to forget about mental health. Panic after hearing the news of the epidemic spreading or getting hyper if missing a certain precaution is very common at this time.
There are a few ways that can be helpful to maintain the mental calm.
Mental Health Concerns During An Epidemic
Fear of getting ill during an epidemic would lead to mental health concerns.
Depression and Anxiety
Some people may experience a mental health problem during an epidemic outbreak. There can be adjustment issues, depression, and anxiety.
A study found that the Ebola virus outbreak, lead to mental health and psychological problem in people.(1)
Also, if already suffering from a mental health condition, it might worsen as well. Those vulnerable to stress and anxiety are more at risk of it. They may develop:
- Increased depression and anxiety
- Increased concern and protection
- Guilt for not being able to prevent loved one’s illness
- Rumination or Isolation
Increased fear may lead to a different reaction in people. Many individuals would experience increased rumination about the possibility of getting sick. They might isolate themselves and even start preparing for catastrophic outcomes.
Some might experience an increase in psychosis or paranoia.
Ways To Deal With Stress And Anxiety During An Epidemic
Increasing panic would obviously increase the problem. It might also make you more vulnerable to get sick, if not with the epidemic, with stress and anxiety.
There are a few ways that can help cope with stress and help you go a long way and ensure health.
Read News Only From A Trustworthy Newspaper
Certain media outlets build hype about even the littlest thing. The news from such portals can be misleading.
Turn to sources that give reliable information, one being the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Develop An Action Plan
There are certain steps that can help reduce risk. Washing hands and limiting travel can be of help.
It is very important to recognize the things that you have control of. Make sure you take actions that are recommended by a reliable source to protect yourself from getting infected.
Limit Media Consumption
Media at the time of any outbreak is frequently and repeatedly talking out about the increase in the number of people getting infected and how fast the illness is spreading. This can increase the anxiety and would bring in depression.
It is good to limit the time you watch such news or read such articles.
Avoid Herd Mentality
Some people go ahead with actions not required such as always wearing masks or adopting certain cleaning rituals.
Look out for the measures told by the CDC to prevent a particular illness.
Going ahead with the actions not required can be destructive and unhelpful
Exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet, ensuring enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water can help you in staying physically and mentally healthy and happy.
It helps keep the stress away and also keeps the immune system robust.
Seek Professional Help
If you are finding it difficult to come out of the stress of the outbreak, seek medical help from a mental health professional. He might help you find ways to come out of the stress and take decisions that are good for you and your family.
Once a solution is found, the epidemic outbreaks disappear as fast as they had begun. It is important to take care of mental health as a healthy mind is efficient in finding a solution to any problems that cross our path.