Ask the therapist: How should I cope with depression after the pandemic?

In the “Consulting Therapist” series, I will answer all your questions about mental health and psychology. Whether you are struggling with mental health, coping with anxiety about life situations, or just looking for insights from a therapist, a question. Please pay attention to my answer to your question every Friday Healthy Mind Communication.

Our readers ask

I am tired of hearing other people say they feel better after the pandemic is over. I had depression and anxiety before COVID-19, and my mental health problems may persist afterwards. what can I do?

——Matt, 36 years old

Amy’s answer

You are not alone in feeling this way. Indeed, now that the restrictions are lifted, some people feel better, but others feel worse than usual. Although the virus cannot make your depression and anxiety go away, you can continue to work hard for yourself.

Mental health and epidemics

The pandemic has reduced some of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As celebrities, influencers and idols come forward to share some of the struggles they experienced during the lockdown, it is clear that no one is immune from mental illness.

However, many of these people are now returning to their daily lives, and their mental health is improving.

I hope that even if the world is returning to normal, the conversation about mental health will continue.

For people who struggled with mental illness long before COVID, it can be frustrating to watch others move forward when you feel trapped.

Although you may think that you are the only person who still feels bad, you are not. There are many others who are also having difficulties now. So just know that you are not alone.

Get advice from the VigorTip Mind podcast

This episode of “VigorTip Mind Podcast” hosted by LCSW’s editor and therapist Amy Morin shares seven mental health mistakes to avoid after the pandemic.

Don’t judge your feelings

Whether you are jealous of those who feel happy again, or angry because your mental health hasn’t improved, it doesn’t matter what you feel now.

Try not to be too harsh on yourself because of these emotions.Tell yourself you Shouldn’t Feeling a certain way will only make you feel worse.

Instead, please state how you feel. Simply labeling them can help your brain understand what is happening more clearly. It might even make you feel better.

Get continuous support

You did not mention how your anxiety and depression were treated. Do you see the therapist? Are you taking medicine? Do you participate in a support group?

Make sure you are working with a professional you trust to develop a reliable treatment plan. If you do not receive any treatment, please consult your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional who can help you.

This is not to say that treatment will magically make you feel better. But this may be a step in the right direction.

Of course, if you are already working with a therapist, your doctor or psychiatrist, be sure to talk to them about your feelings about the pandemic. It is important to let them know how this affects you.

Talk to other people

Of course, it’s not just professionals who can help you now. Talking with trusted friends and family members may also help.

You may find that some of them feel exactly the same as you. They may hesitate to bring it up first.

You may find comfort in the support group. There are many online groups for people with anxiety and depression. If you feel uncomfortable going to a place in person. Others with a history of depression and anxiety may know exactly what you are going through.

Limit your time on social media

If you see a lot of people celebrating the lifting of pandemic restrictions on social media, please limit the people you follow and the time you spend on social media.

Don’t be afraid to use the mute function. If you are uncomfortable seeing friends going on vacation or hearing how happy your family is now being together again, don’t watch.

Whether you like to follow mental health accounts that provide actionable tips, or you like to pay close attention to your favorite actors, you can follow those accounts that inspire you to feel your best immediately.

Think of mental health as a continuous marathon, not a sprint

Improving your mental health is not a race. There is no reward for the fastest feeling better. Although you will feel better when your mental health improves, trying to act hastily can be counterproductive.

This is not a game either.

Mental health is like sunshine. Everyone has many things to do, and the happiness of others will not take away anything from you.

Managing your mental health is an ongoing process. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. Even if you feel better, self-care is the key to controlling your symptoms.