• Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

(This post has been edited to add additional links)

Mental health in the midst of Coronavirus (Covid 19), specifically: depression and anxiety (links to various resources father below).

Before I get to the links, I wanted to remind any readers I’ve had GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) since childhood, and for many years, I had clinical depression. I saw psychiatrists and took anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants.

My depression is mostly long gone, and while I still deal with GAD, I guess with life experience comes better coping skills.

I am strangely chill about the coronavirus mayhem. I am concerned for my friends and family who are over the age of 60, because I don’t want any of them to contract Covid 19 (Coronavirus), but I am not too worried about catching it myself and dying.

I figure, if I do contract the disease and die, I cannot do anything to change it. If I am hospitalized, maybe the medical staff can treat me and I can pull through, but if not, I may die. And I’m okay with that.

At this point the only thing that spikes my anxiety at all is not the virus but how the public is acting – people are hoarding supplies, leaving nothing for others, and people have broken into fist fights at Sam’s Clubs stores over food and toilet paper.

But the older I get, the more I understand certain biblical passages now more than I did when I was younger, such as this one (from Luke 12) – a person doesn’t have to be a Christian or believe in a deity to get some wisdom out of the gist of this:

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Passages such as that one make more sense to me now than they did when I was growing up. Sitting around worrying about a virus isn’t going to do a thing to make your life better, so what’s the point in worrying about it?

The Links

If I find additional material about mental health in relation to Coronavirus, I will try to edit this post to add the information.

Here is a series of links from newspapers and magazines that discuss the covid19 virus (coronavirus) in light of mental health; some simply describe the situation, while others offer tips on how to deal with depression or anxiety, if one has either one.

What is it like to have an anxiety disorder in the time of coronavirus? My worst nightmare come to life – behind a paywall, but a free trial is available

The mental health cost of containing the coronavirus outbreak

A pandemic takes a unique toll on people with mental illnesses.

By Anagha Srikanth

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the NAMI helpline at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

…But for some, the anxiety can rise to a clinical level during an outbreak. Lewis said people should be aware of symptoms including difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns, rapid changes in mood, inability to carry out required or necessary tasks, self-medication using alcohol and drugs and prolonged self-isolation.

“For those who may already struggle with feelings of isolation due to depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, social distancing could increase those feelings of loneliness and isolation,” Lewis [Krystal Lewis, clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health] said in an email.

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• Are Facts More Important than Feelings? Ben Shapiro, Rationality, and Gender Stereotypes

Are Facts More Important than Feelings? Ben Shapiro, Rationality, and Gender Stereotypes

Ben Shapiro is a conservative pundit who Tweets quite a bit, and he’s sometimes interviewed on cable news programs. He frequently likes telling liberals something along the lines of “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

I’m a conservative myself. Yes, I know that some liberals on some subjects can allow emotion out-weigh reason. That is true.

However, I’m not a supporter of this tendency of some people – usually conservatives and men who uphold sexist gender stereotypes – to trash talk emotions. I do not support the false dichotomy of Fact Vs. Feeling (or Logic Vs. Emotions or Rationality Vs. Emotions).

A person can be logical, factual, rational AND have emotions and show those emotions in a debate. There’s nothing mutually exclusive about it.

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• The End of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

The End of Empathy

This issues discussed in this article remind me of this Bible verse:

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…

The End Of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

Snippets:

…Americans these days seem to be losing their appetite for empathy, especially the walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes Easter Sunday morning kind.

…Konrath [associate professor and researcher at Indiana University] collected decades of studies and noticed a very obvious pattern.

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide.

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• Being Rational All the Time Isn’t Going to Do You Any Favors by Zat Rana

 

Being Rational All the Time Isn’t Going to Do You Any Favors by Zat Rana

Being Rational All the Time Isn’t Going to Do You Any Favors by Zat Rana

Snippets from that article:

….They [Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky] had discovered that contrary to the model of decision-making espoused by modern economic theory, in real life, humans didn’t make rational decisions based on outcome, but rather, they thought in terms of gains and losses using mental heuristics that often led them to sub-optimal choices.

In short, we are irrational agents by nature, and it tends to get in our way.

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• Christians Combat Depression and Suicide Too; Pastors and Ministers share How They Get Through by J. Law

Christians combat depression and suicide too; pastors and ministers share how they get through by J. Law

Snippets:

The depression rate worldwide is on a continual rise and Christians are not immune.

With multiple headlines of pastors who died by suicide throughout the United States, The Christian Post decided to reach out to ministers to talk about how they combat their darkest moments.  

…Despite the increasing notice of depression and suicide nationally, the resources to help people in the church struggling with these thoughts or feelings are scarce.

According to the World Health Organization, depression at its worst leads to suicide and it affects 300 million people worldwide.

It’s estimated that 15 percent of people will experience depression at some point in their adult lives.

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• It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – RE: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – Re: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

This has become a very big pet peeve of mine in the last few years.

There are people out there, who, if you go to them when you’re undergoing a rough patch in your life, seeking empathy or encouragement – say,  after the death of a family member, or what have you – they will later refer to this behavior of yours insultingly as “self pity.”

I have run into two people so far in the last few years who have classified my struggles as being “self pity,” with one of these people engaging in that behavior herself, but of course, she does not regard herself writing to me about being stressed or hurting as “self pity,” no.

I’ve also seen people on other sites refer to other people’s struggle to cope with depression, grief, job loss, or what have you, with the phrase “self pity.”

I am not convinced that any and all negative reactions to hurt, pain, and anxiety in life is always “self pity.” I think it’s often not self pity.

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• Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism by Olga Khazan

Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism by Olga Khazan

I find the timing of this article by Khazan in The Atlantic (linked to much farther below in this post) so interesting.

I just came across this article a few days ago, and for the last few months, I’ve been thinking about researching Buddhism more, and maybe taking up some of its practices.

(I do not intend on becoming a full-blown Buddhist, or identifying as a Buddhist, even if I may adopt some of its practices. I’m still at the research phase right now. Perhaps I will decide to have nothing to do with Buddhism after I look into things more. I don’t know.)

I once saw a documentary about singer Tina Turner a couple of years ago (yes, that Tina Turner).

According to this documentary, Turner was raised in Christianity but later converted to Buddhism in adulthood, when she was facing a lot of struggles, if I recall correctly. Her Wiki page says she practices Nichiren Buddhism.

I am interested in any practical teachings Buddhism may have, such as meditation, in dealing with things like anxiety.

I found no help in the Christian faith for anxiety and other problems I’ve had over the course of my life, which I wrote about in more detail in this post.

I was a very conservative, devout, run of the mill Christian from my childhood up to my 40s, and not only did Christianity not alleviate my problems, but it exacerbated some of them.

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