TUCSON, Ariz. — The recent outbreak of coronavirus has health officials warning people to stay inside and quarantine. For many adults, that means being alone for days to weeks.
The World Health Organization, or WHO, reports 264 million people across the globe suffer from depression. Being stuck in isolation can increase these symptoms.
“If you have a mental illness of some kind, or you know, other challenging conditions, being alone is not always the best place to be," Psychotherapist Diane Ryan said.
Ryan said social isolation can increase symptoms of depression or anxiety. However, she said there are some ways to help with that.
“It’s really critical that you have some kind of a routine that you can follow, so you’re getting good sleep and you’re really taking care of your needs," Ryan said. "You can monitor how you’re feeling, and you can see if you’re slipping into some kind of depression that would require outside help.”
Even in this time of isolation, Ryan said their are still resources available for people who need to seek outside help.
“All the therapist in Tucson are able to provide different platforms for people to access even though they may not be able to leave their homes," Ryan said. "There are a variety of ways where you can get help and access help so you don’t have to be alone.”
One of the best ways people can cope during this time is reaching out to their loved ones with a Facetime or Skype. Ryan said it can make a big difference in a person's mental health.
“Maintain your support networks just the way you would before the crisis happened, but maybe in a more intentional way," Ryan said.
Coming together during this tough time and supporting each other can make it a little easier, Ryan said.
“There is really no reason to panic," Ryan said. "Panic and those kind of emotional responses, instead of rational responses, feed into the fear and the anxiety that are inherent in this kind of situation."