Health and Fitness

Living with Depression in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

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It’s raining today.

As I gaze out of my window into the murky sky, I let myself get lost in my thoughts again. I ponder on how life used to be like, back when things used to be so focused and in control; that was easily over 3 months ago before the nationwide quarantine was implemented. It seems so long ago, but I guess time does move awfully slow when you’re suspended in isolation let alone when you are struggling with your mental state as well.

I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression last December 2019. It was not something that came out of the blue, nor was it news to me since I’ve been struggling with myself throughout my life. But a dear friend of mine lost her life early that year and I was unemployed at that time and struggling financially to make ends meet. I was so lost and overwhelmed at the same time with everything that’s going on and I could barely keep my emotions in check. I can’t even count the number of sleepless nights and sporadic outbursts of crying from the sheer frustration of it all.

It was as if I was drowning. The more I struggle day by day to keep my head above water, the deeper I sink. It came to a point where I resented small bouts of happiness that came round because it was a constant reminder of how temporary it was. It came to the point that my best friend was kind enough to convince me to get myself professional help.

It really took an awful lot of time, effort and medication to keep me afloat, but progress did come and along with it was a new career that gave myself a new sense of purpose. Enough to keep the dark thoughts at bay from time to time.

But then all of a sudden I, along with the other millions of people experiencing the same struggle are thrust upon a global pandemic. With all of this happening, it is inevitable to respond to it with profound anxiety. A writer from The Atlantic, Elizabeth Flock, said, “Mourning what’s lost and fearful of what’s to come.” She then further indicated, “We are profoundly isolated and we are sick with worry. Some of us are feeling this intensity for the first time and some of us have felt this way all our lives.”.

 

Things that have helped me cope

Time continues to pass by, with a bleak future as to when this virus will leave its final note. But what else to do than try and cope? Live and let live. In the end we are all equal victims of this pandemic with different experiences yet stemming from similar emotions such as pain, fear, and uncertainty. There will be bad days, of course, but there’s always room for good ones too.

Here are a couple of things that have helped me cope:

  • Wake up early
  • Sleep early
  • Eat healthy
  • Find some time to exercise.
  • Therapy

Simply doing house chores will do, small accomplishments can certainly go miles in improving your mood. Remain connected with your friends and family through social media. Don’t hesitate to explore your hobbies and creativity. Reading books can be the best entertainment and distraction since each page can take you to different places.

The pandemic can cause a lot of anxiety. We don’t know what will happen to us. Not just getting the virus, but our sanity is at stake. But we all know consultations are not cheap! You can read this article on health insurance and therapy in detail. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and our mental health is just as important as our physical.

And most importantly, be grateful for the little things.

It stopped raining just now, I see a hint of silver lining peeking over the clouds.

 

References:

  • https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200520/Pandemic-likely-to-cause-lasting-physical-and-mental-health-consequences-study-finds.aspx
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/pandemic-lockdown-depression-anxiety/611248/
  • helpnetsecurity.com 2020/05/19/mental-health-awareness-week/
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