The coronavirus has completely changed the way we live our lives and interact with others. What was once a cozy holiday season has turned into a socially distanced gathering. As we tune in to the latest news on coronavirus, it may be easy to think the worst. This is especially true with people suffering from mental health disorders. The pandemic has brought a new and isolated lifestyle to many people. 

Unfortunately, this new way of life has only increased isolation and loneliness for millions of people around the world. This has become apparent in our holiday “gatherings.” Coronavirus has completely tampered with many people’s plans and yearly gatherings. What was once our traditional Thanksgiving feasts and holiday occasions have now become virtual calls (if at all). This has created many problems and rippling effects on millions of people. 

What many people don’t realize is that this can be extremely problematic and crippling for those struggling with their mental health. It’s hard enough as it is to deal with life’s stresses without the fury of a pandemic. With this in mind, it’s extra important to stay mentally and physically healthy during this time. While the holidays may not be what we expected, there are still things we can do to get professional and personal help. 

How is Coronavirus Affecting Travel and Family Gatherings?

This Thanksgiving ended up being a very mundane and quiet one. Last year was a much brighter time with your family all together. Seeing your grandparents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents around the dinner table is an incredible feeling. Sadly, few families were able to experience that warm feeling this year. As COVID-19 continued to spread, millions of people chose not to travel and visit their families.

The latest news on coronavirus points many away from traveling this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)  warns against big gatherings this year (for Thanksgiving and the rest of the year). The CDC warns that the more people you invite the greater the risk of the disease spreading. This is especially true with indoor gatherings. While travel was impacted during Thanksgiving, many people still traveled to see their loved ones and family. 

However, many people resorted to online Zoom and Google calls with their families. While there is nothing that can compare to being in the same room, these are much safer and easier ways to communicate. With the Christmas season coming up soon, it’s no question we will see the same events and warnings. It’s best to take the right precautions when traveling or having visitors during the holiday season. 

A Closer Look at Common Mental Health Disorders

Millions of people suffer from mental health disorders every year. Mental health disorders can range in severity and can make every day a struggle. Mental disorders are unique from person to person and can stem from a variety of different reasons. Regardless of the disorder, the coronavirus has brought a new level of isolation and problems to people suffering from mental illnesses. Some of the most common forms of mental illness include the following:

  • Anxiety Disorders: Constant and overwhelming fear of normal (non-threatening) situations 
  • Bipolar Disorder: Intense shifts in mood (high and low moods)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Excessive trouble focusing and staying on task
  • Depression: Severe time periods where a person’s mood shifts (motivation and behavior changes). Usually negative and hopeless feelings.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Anxiety and stress caused by a traumatic event (war, sexual abuse, abuse, etc.) 
  • Schizophrenia: impacts a person’s ability to think and how they interact with others. Typically, this disorder causes someone to lose touch with reality/others through delusions/hallucinations. 
  • Eating Disorders: Drastically changing one’s food consumption so much so that their social and psychical health is affected
  • Dissociative Disorder: This disorder is typically associated with trauma, it affects all areas of a person’s psychological functioning
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Obsessive and repetitive thoughts/behaviors that dictate how a person feels and behaves

Each of these disorders can completely affect the way a person thinks and feels on a day-to-day basis. These typically require professional help (like our team at Harmony Ridge Recovery) and can be the cause of much stress for people. Our world’s current circumstance has been jarring and problematic for millions who suffer from mental disorders. 

How COVID-19 has Affected Those with Mental Health Disorders

With the surge of COVID, millions have been told to stay indoors and avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary. These warnings have created a new life for millions of people, many of whom are not accustomed to this way of life. This isolation has begun to cause many problems, especially for those who have mental health disorders. 

In many instances of mental illnesses, it’s crucial to have others around you, whether it be friends or family. The pandemic has separated those suffering from mental illnesses with their supportive family system. But perhaps the most problematic effect of COVID-19 is the negative feeling that the pandemic has caused. With many people getting sick or losing their jobs, millions are mentally struggling during this time. People who may not have had a mental disorder have become depressed and anxious. 

This holiday season is completely different from the last, and that alone has caused many negative feelings. There is no typical holiday season, and this has an effect on many people. Those struggling with mental health illnesses are especially affected by the circumstances of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As they spend their holidays alone, many may struggle to cope with their feelings and symptoms. 

Additionally, recovery from mental illnesses and addiction has completely changed. Luckily, there is still help available via telehealth if you are uncomfortable going in person. While it has been a very negative year, we recommend getting help if necessary. While isolation has been tough on many, at Harmony Ridge, we want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles. We urge you to reach out for help and check on your loved ones this holiday season. 

Dealing with Mental Health Disorders this Holiday Season

The Christmas season is just around the corner, and it’s important for those suffering from mental health disorders or addiction to stay safe. Isolation can be especially tough during the holiday season. It’s important to reach out for help when necessary. While this holiday season may be different and more lonely than usual, you are not alone. There are many things you can do to stay active and mentally healthy. 

At Harmony Ridge, we offer a number of effective and trusted options to stay healthy this holiday season. We understand how tough hearing the latest news on coronavirus can be. It’s important to stay healthy and clean this holiday season. Unfortunately, many turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with these pressing times. What tends to happen is a case of co-occurring disorders. If a person continues to drink alcohol or use drugs, they may develop an addiction. 

Co-occurring disorders happen when someone is dealing with drug addiction and a mental health disorder. These two tend to affect each other negatively and cause more problems than solutions. While many see drugs and alcohol as a self-medicating option, it typically makes the symptoms of the mental disorder much worse. If you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, it may be time to get help. 

Getting Help for Mental Health Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders

While our world has changed, there is no excuse not to get help if needed. There are multiple options and paths available for long-term sobriety and a healthy mind. Some of the most common treatment programs for dealing with both mental health disorders and addiction include:

  • Inpatient Programs: Inpatient programs offer the fullest and most complete form of treatment. It usually has you residing in a safe and effective facility (like Harmony Ridge Recovery). Here we treat addiction and mental health disorders (sometimes simultaneously)
  • Outpatient Programs: This allows some convenience as you live your life outside of a rehab center while attending weekly sessions. This is best for those who have other obligations at home. 
  • Therapy Options: For mental health disorders and drug addiction, therapy is an essential part of the journey and is the key to long-term improvement and sobriety. Therapy is included in outpatient and inpatient programs and differs from case to case

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help this Holiday Season

The latest news on coronavirus has got us all down this holiday season. It’s important to be safe and healthy this December season. Stay strong and positive, even if things are a little different. If you or a loved one is suffering, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our staff makes sure to take all the proper COVID-19 precautions to ensure safety while you get help. We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and stay optimistic for 2021. Contact us today to learn more about our facility and treatment options.