Mental Health Awareness in the Midst of a Pandemic

Provider blog by Dr. Ryan Meshulam, MD, MS

March of 2020 was an unimaginable and impactful month that changed the trajectory of not only the year, but perhaps the foreseeable future of this country and the world. Not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 has our country had to deal with such uncertainty that inherently comes with a Pandemic. The thought that such a catastrophic event could happen in our lifetime and change the way we live seemed unfathomable for many, and the subsequent aftermath continues to be unsettling as we all navigate our “new normal”.

The physical ailments caused by COVID-19 have affected hundreds of thousands of individuals in this country alone, and countless more around the world. Some people recovering from this virus have even had long-lasting and persistent symptoms. Many more people have untimely lost their lives or the precious lives of someone near and dear. Therefore, it is a fair assumption to make that many, if not all, of us have been impacted by the Pandemic on some level.

The ripple effect of 2020  has certainly shaken the stability of our mental health. Individuals, families, and professionals have faced a multitude of challenges, including financial burdens caused by job losses or an inability to adapt the workplace to a socially distant or remote setting. Additionally, care givers and educators have had to adjust to remote learning, while balancing the nuances of a daily routine. The challenges we have all faced in our personal and professional lives can make us feel mentally overwhelmed and exhausted. When that feeling of mental fatigue persists, it can negatively impact our daily functioning and our quality of life. Simply getting out of bed in the morning may seem like a chore for many as the “new normal” becomes monotonous. We may dread what the day has to bring and our energy may feel depleted. Moreover, a mental fog can take over, a change in appetite can occur, and an individual may not feel motivated or be able to pursue the activities that previously brought enjoyment to his or her life. When these feelings of dread and lack of motivation become prolonged for at least several weeks and the quality of life is greatly impacted, it is time to address it with a mental healthcare professional.

If you, a friend, or a family member are experiencing such symptoms, please know that you are most certainly not alone. Even if you did not experience any of the aforementioned symptoms prior to the Pandemic, there have been major stressors caused by these strange times and there is absolutely no shame in seeking help from a professional. Cornerstone Family Healthcare offers empathic support that is accessible to all members of the community. Even though recovery may take time, it is possible and feasible to achieve a sense or normalcy, stability, and happiness once again!