Coping With Anxiety During Covid-19
- Feelings of uncertainty are the most common cause of anxiety, often increasing in stressful circumstances such as the coronavirus pandemic.
- Checking in with the body and recognizing where anxiety is manifesting is important for coping.
- Pay attention to what type of questions underlie your anxiety, how often you are asking these questions, and how you are answering them.
Dr. Marianna Strongin, a clinical psychologist and founder of Strong In Therapy, has been helping the SurvivorNet community by sharing coping mechanisms and a structured way to think about handling these issues.Read More
Dr. Strongin says that one of the main causes of anxiety is uncertainty about life, and Covid-19 is fueling anxiety for individuals because of the lack of answers about the virus. Many people will turn to media platforms for answers, but Dr. Strongin says that individuals often end up with more questions as a result — which leads to more anxiety.
The first step for coping during stressful circumstances is understanding one’s anxiety. To do this, Dr. Strongin suggests checking in with oneself everyday to see where the anxiety is manifesting and what questions are causing the anxiety. From there, it’s important to answer those questions and reassure oneself with positivity.
“The answers are our coping skills,” Dr. Strongin says. “Some people are really good at always giving themselves answers…other people don’t have the coping skills to answer their anxiety and as a result the anxiety increases. In mix of Covid-19 we are all facing the same questions. Some are facing them much more than others and some are better at answering those questions than others. What’s really important is to pay attention to is what those questions are, what the frequency of those questions are, and how you’re answering them.”
Anxiety In The United States
According to the Anxiety Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting nearly 40 million adults 18 years and older. Anxiety can be developed through factors including genetics, personality, brain chemistry, and life circumstances. Despite being highly treatable, only 37% of people receive treatment for anxiety disorders.
Anxiety symptoms include feelings of irritability, fatigue, and nervousness. People struggling with anxiety also have trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and rapid heart rate which leads to hyperventilation. Therapy and medication are the two most recommended forms of treatment for individuals with anxiety, and treatments vary depending on the type of anxiety an individual has.