COVID-19 and Situational Depression
Nothing fancy here. I have copied and pasted several Facebook posts so that they can be shared with people not on Facebook.
Being no stranger to depression, I realize that the longer this situation continues, we all may begin to experience situational depression. There have been many posts for anxiety but hardly any for depression. I am going to post some basic info and am happy to answer questions. I use only reliable resources but please feel free to double check this info.
Here’s a list of some signs of situational depression:
1) Change in sleeping or eating habits
2) lack of energy and fatigue
3) feelings of hopelessness
4) difficulty focusing
5) Irritability (yes,you read that right)
6)loss of interest or pleasure in activities you usually enjoy
The reason I want us to know what to look for is because labeling what is going on with us is a big step toward combating it. Depression is the only condition I know of that actively seeks to tell us we don’t deserve to feel any better. Being aware that it’s depression that’s “talking” to us this way gives us the ability to gain a better perspective.
Also knowing that this is a common reaction to our situation allows us to combat the other negative thoughts such as “there is something wrong with you.” There isn’t. We are in a very unusual and uncertain situation.
Here are a few ways to cope with the situation:
1) maintain your usual eating and sleeping routines
2) get some movement in your daily life
3)Stay informed but LIMIT your media exposure (I can’t stress this enough)
4)Connect with friends and family as much as possible
5) Develop a daily schedule
6) Find ways that work for you to relax.
7) Start a new interest or hobby.
8) Make sure to do something FUN!
There are many ways to cope with depression. In the event that you or someone you know is facing a serious crisis, here are 2 important numbers.
SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
I have found this quote extremely helpful (even before COVID-19).
“Feelings are non-volitional and ethically neutral; they are not choices we make and so they don’t have any moral significance. Only how we think, speak, and act in response to them is ethically significant. You NEED NOT BE ASHAMED (my emphasis) of any feeling you experience. You feel what you feel. Simply accepting this is in itself a profound act of self-compassion”.“Loving Pain” by Bodhipaksa in the magazine Tricycle.
More on the signs of situational depression:
Ironically, I forget one of the signs of situational depression in my first post:
Loneliness or social isolation
I know what you’re thinking. But if you notice you no longer want to contact friends and family during this time, especially if you’re having the message “what’s the point?” playing in your head, this is definitely a sign.
I recommend pushing through the voice and call/email/text/video chat or whatever!