COVID-19 and Mental Health
So it’s been a few weeks since our government here in Australia instituted self-isolation and lockdown for us citizens. Not that we are alone in this world, many other countries experiencing the Corona (COVID-19) virus have also done the same and in some cases, even more, extreme than us. We have a bunch of rules depending upon which state you reside in, that have to be followed. Some of these rules include staying at home unless you are going out for:
- Essentials shopping
- Exercise (Within Limits)
- Medical Care
- Compassionate Reasons
If you have arrived back in the country from overseas travel, then there is a mandatory 14 day isolation period that has to be completed.
At the best of times, people with depression and other mental health illnesses are self-isolating due to either the stigma associated with it or because they just do not feel like socialising. I know for myself when I’m feeling at my lowest I do not tend to socialise much. There are a few exceptions each month, such as my Speakers Tribe Victoria meetings. Most of the engagements that I used to partake in are now done in a virtual sense. This includes some of the health appointments over the internet with the use of a webcam and microphone/speakers.
I’m still making my monthly psychologist appointments face to face, as he hasn’t had to close his doors yet which I feel is a good thing. There is something about being able to communicate face to face that I am finding beneficial in this time. Remember to be kind to yourself throughout this challenging time. I know for myself I’m not operating at full speed and I like to think I was pretty stable so I can only imagine what it would be like for others who are newly diagnosed or not stable in their treatments yet.
What does the future hold for us?
COVID-19 or Corona Virus activity has increased monumentally in a large number of countries, and I’m thinking that the number of mental health diagnoses would also be skyrocketing. If it’s not happening right now, I fear that in the future once we get out of this ugly blanket of COVID-19, there is going to be a surge in the number of cases being detected and treated. The world we step into I feel is going to look very different from what it was.
The rise of telehealth services is an interesting technological advancement. It’s a great system that enables anyone with an internet connection and mobile/desktop to have an appointment with their health professional. My only bugbear with the system presently is the fact if you need prescriptions, you need to go into the doctor’s surgery to pick up the original. You would think the minds of the government would get together and start to link up the prescriptions to the medicare card so that you don’t need to get the original. How easy would it be, anywhere in Australia you could get your prescription filled without any mucking about.
I know there are going to be some people who are against a system like that because it allows the government more tracking, but I feel it would be worth it in the long run.
We are in some very interesting and challenging times right now, and who knows how far down the rabbit hole we will tumble before we come out the other end. I do feel that we will be changed somewhat, but what will that look like is anybody’s guess right now. For now, stay safe and look out for each other.