The human mind is powerful! There are millions of Americans who suffer from some kind of mental illness. The COVID-19 pandemic makes life very difficult for people with mental illness.
There are all kinds of medically recognized forms of mental illness. This article focuses only on anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorder is a condition in which the human body reacts abnormally to stress. People experience stressors every day. There is work stress, family stress, financial stress, religious stress, marital stress, parenting stress, and many more stressors. Stress is like a sledgehammer hitting your body. If not treated, it can be fatal. How your body responds to these stressors is critical to your overall health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional stressors that affect the lives of millions of Americans. I'll mention a few, but there are many more.
The threat of illness and death. The threat of losing a well-paid job. The threat of loved ones getting sick and dying. The uncertainty of the future. The threat that the economy will collapse and lose your pension. The threat of running out of essential supplies for your family. The threat of famine or undereating. The threat of homelessness. The threat of isolation from family and loved ones. The threat of negative evaluation by society as positive for COVID-19. The stress of homeschooling children while they also have jobs. The stress of childcare when no nurseries are open. The stress of paying your staff or keeping your small business open. The stress of paying bills.
Let's face it, these stressors are enough to put a person in a condition called anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder in its simplest form is that your body reacts negatively to stress. It is much like a flight or fight response to stress. A person's brain can literally only do so much before it causes a mental breakdown.
According to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx (President Trumps Covid-19 Task Force) are the following three signs that a person may have contracted the COVID-19 virus:
2. Dry cough
3. Shortness of breath
They have since learned that every patient is different. Many patients may experience fatigue, chills, muscle pain, eye redness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.
Some patients are asymptomatic and carry COVID-19, but have no symptoms.
Due to these common symptoms and asymptomatic carriers, it is difficult to say that all patients have the COVID-19 virus without being tested. People are told to assume that everyone has the virus because the symptoms are so common.
Anxiety disorder manifests itself in many similar ways in the body. It is not uncommon for a patient under extreme stress to exhibit the following symptoms:
1. Muscle pain
5. Weakened immune system with fever.
7. Shortness of breath
8. Tightness in the chest
9. Muscle weakness in the legs and arms
11. Bursts of anger and frustration
A person may believe they have contracted COVID-19 when in fact they are suffering from a severe anxiety disorder.
The first thing to do is make an appointment with your doctor and get medical advice. Other steps you can take include cutting out all social and news media from your life, exercising regularly, staying away from caffeine, and getting enough sleep. There are also prescriptions that your doctor can prescribe that are not addictive but will help calm your body and reduce your anxiety.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the most important thing to do is to pray. Ask Jesus to help you in your fear and give you the grace to live with it.
They are never alone to the follower of Jesus Christ. God is always with them and works for their good. He is their source of strength and will give them the grace to overcome anxiety disorders. Jesus cares about every detail of their life, especially anxiety. He will help them in times of need.
COVID-19 and Anxiety Disorder are very real threats and with government layoffs, layoffs, and illness, those who suffer from mental illness struggle. I hope this article will give the reader peace of mind that they will discern the difference between the virus and anxiety and will not panic as they begin to develop symptoms.