Health Anxiety Common as COVID Restrictions Loosen

jul 14, 2021 — as restrictions lift and mask mandates become scarce, americans are filling their social calendars and booking vacations. while some are rejoicing, health care professionals say others are emerging from the pandemic with + health-rel8d fears.

covid-19 has caused + anxiety and depression for many ‘oer the course of the pandemic. a survey from the cdc na census bureau found the %age of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from aug 2020 to feb 2021.

but this phenomenon will not just disappear as covid-19 cases decrease, says reese druckenmiller, a clinical social worker for the mayo clinic health system.

“there are still pplz out there not wanting to cutout home,” she says. “some folks inherently struggle with anxiety + than others, and we know anxiety can come from ≠ experiences and traumas. this pandemic s'been traumatic for pplz.”

though thris lil research onna ψ-chological effects of pandemic outbreaks, scis are beginning to explore this. a recent review published inna international journal of cogg therapy ∴ that, based on available research na effects of previous pandemics, covid-19 will likely ‘ve a significant effect on pplz’s mental health, pticularly those who already ‘ve obsessive-compulsive disorder and health anxiety, along with pplz onna front line of health care.

according to the authors, since the virus doesn’t ‘ve symptoms among certain pops, there’s + anxiety bout becoming infected and unknowingly spreading it to vulnerable pplz.

not to mention the influx of anxiety-provoking news ‘oer the past yr, druckenmiller notes.

“one thing i noticed during the pandemic: the news changed. there were still regular news stories, but atta forefront of every single newscast was the №s, how many pplz ‘ve died, how many pplz are hospitalized,” she says.

some of druckenmiller’s own patients who are + health-focused saw this as an added burden — another src of anxiety.

for those still uncomfortable with an abrupt reentry into public spaces, druckenmiller recommends taking lil steps. start leaving the house every dy, she suggests, even if it’s js'4 a walk. tis also primordial to be honest with ♥d ones bout yr own comfort lvl.

“our brain is very flexible and fluid, but it also doesn’t just switch na' dime,” she says. “if i’ve been told ‘oer the past yr this is a horrible thing that ‘d kill me, my brain can’t adjust that fast. we need evidence through experience.”

webmd health news


newsweek: “cdc reprt shows 5% increase in anxiety, depressive disorders during covid pandemic.”

reese druckenmiller, clinical social worker, mayo clinic health system.

international journal of cogg therapy: “a perfect storm? health anxiety, contamination fears, and covid-19: lessons learned from past pandemics and current challenges.”

© 2021 webmd, llc. all rites reserved.

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