Coronavirus started its spread in late 2019 and has now consumed almost every nation in the world. Even countries with world-class healthcare facilities are seeing the collapse of the system and are helpless in this battle against the invisible virus. Millions of people are infected with the novel coronavirus and thousands of new cases are recorded each day. The spread of COVID-19 seems hard to contain.
However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has not only caused failed medical systems but has also forced several small-scale businesses to shut down forcing the owners to fire their employees. This has increased the unemployment rate in many countries, worsening the mental health of the people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Studies also show that the unemployment rate is more likely to increase as the year progresses.
How is COVID-19 Impacting Those in Addiction Recovery?
In a world where people already have a stigma around mental illness, COVID-19 has made it a hundred times worse for those who are suffering and seeking medical care. Those who lost their job or the business owners who have to shut their work due to the pandemic are also largely affected.
With several countries imposing a nationwide lockdown to contain the virus, people are stuck at home. For patients in recovery or those who are suffering from an addiction disorder, this feeling of being secluded from the world may not be a good phase. The feeling of loneliness can bring in past traumatic memories or habits which can cause a patient to relapse.
Here’s how the pandemic can affect those in recovery:
There is no bigger enemy of a healthy mind than overthinking. With everyone stuck all day at home, people may start thinking about their future and various aspects that makes them sit and wonder for hours. Many people are afraid of the virus itself and the fear that they may get infected is also worsening their mental health.
Jobs are less, businesses are shutting down, and there is chaos in the world. However, addicts or people in recovery who have lost their job may delve deep into worrying too much about their career. The pressure of being jobless and how to manage the time ahead may bring back previous habits and routines. It doesn’t matter for how long they have been able to keep their sobriety, the extreme stress that the COVID-19 situation embeds within, it may become hard to control.
- Living Alone
If a patient in recovery is living alone during these unprecedented times, they may experience a greater impact on their mental health. Remember, depressed people tend to look happier on the outside but always need someone by their side to support and allow them to vent it all out. The current situation may put them in a place where they can bounce back to drinking or substance abuse keeping the closed ones in dark.
- Lack of knowledge
Without a doubt, coronavirus is a deadly virus that is killing more and more people every day. However, the pandemic has quietly shifted everyone’s attention away from other health issues and diseases that are far worse than COVID-19. For example, people with severe health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., are afraid to visit the hospitals because they are afraid that they may contract the virus.
Mental illness already faces a lot of discrimination and opposition from society, making it even more difficult to seek help in this situation. People in recovery may develop a notion that their disease matters less than what’s already going on. This misconception keeps them from seeking medical attention as they try to deal with the adverse effects all by themselves. Despite doing good, this approach may put them on the verge of relapsing.
How Can People in Recovery Deal With this Situation?
Considering the stress that the COVID-19 has introduced the world too, it has become imperative to focus on mental health and try to improve and stabilize our minds. Agreed, people in recovery, and those suffering from addiction disorder have it more difficult, however, there are efforts needed to achieve what you wish.
Here are some measures that can help calm your mind:
For some people, meditation is a rather boring activity that is just not their thing. However, meditation is such a powerful activity, that within a week of practicing, our brain structure starts to change. It also helps increase focus, makes you feel good, and introduces more positivity to your life.
- Invest time wisely
We’re all stuck at home and have ample time to dedicate our minds to something productive. Learn music, write something, or even become a freelancer in a skill you’re interested in. There are many opportunities to earn from home if you have the right skill. Additionally, if you have something good to do on your schedule, it keeps your mind away from the negative thoughts.
- Keep touch with your friends/family
Some of us are unable to go meet with our families or friends. These are tough times and it takes strength and might to overcome such situations. It is important to keep checking on our loved ones and know that they are in good health. Keeping in touch with family or friends also induces positivity in our minds. Also, a single ”I’m here for you” message can have the power to eliminate all worries.
- Seek help
Some organizations are active amid this pandemic and can lend a helping hand to addicts and the people in recovery. You just need to call and explain the issue you’re facing. They can suggest and provide assistance that can make you feel better again.
COVID-19 and its wrath don’t seem to have an end in sight unless we get a cure. Even for the countries who claimed to have defeated the virus, they are getting new cases now. The condition is worse, and it is expected to go even down for a few countries in the next few months. However, the best that we can do is keep calm and deal with the situation while having a positive approach to life.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.