Wow. What an unorthodox two weeks our area has experienced. I don’t know about you, but my anxiety is level is pretty high.
I suffer from an anxiety disorder, well two kinds technically. I have generalized anxiety disorder, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.”
I also have a panic disorder which by definition “involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.”
Yeah. You can imagine how a pandemic like this one is affecting me and millions of others like me that suffer from anxiety, whether diagnosed or not.
Luckily, I have a strong support system. I have a husband and family that understand my disorders and listen when I need to talk. I also have a wonderful psychiatrist who supports me. I take breaks from my desk to walk outside and breathe. I pray and I have faith. And I am not afraid to ask for help.
If you are experiencing anything like the emotions described above, I would suggest to you to reach out for help. A good place to start is the Keep Calm Through COVID crisis phone line.
Recognizing the strong emotions and associated stress many people are feeling with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health has established a hotline to help Louisianans cope.
The Keep Calm Through COVID crisis phone line provides trained, compassionate counselors to support Louisianans through this difficult time. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with information and service coordination, linking callers to mental health and substance abuse counseling services. This service is available to the public at no charge.
“We are all learning so much about this virus each day and we have made significant changes to our day-to-day lives to prevent the spread of the illness. The threat of COVID-19 and so many changes to our normal routines can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety,” said Karen Stubbs, assistant secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health. “These are normal feelings and it’s important for each individual who is having a hard time with these emotions to reach out for help. The Keep Calm Through COVID hotline is available to help.”
Call the Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977 at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. This line is for counseling only, and people calling for general information should call 211.