Health anxiety common as COVID restrictions ease


July 14, 2021 – With restrictions lifted and mask scarcity, Americans fill out their social calendars and book vacations. While some are rejoicing, health care professionals say others are out of pandemic With more health concerns.

COVID-19 is causing more concern and depression For many over the course of the pandemic. Survey from the CDC and the Census Bureau have found The percentage of adults with symptoms of anxiety or depression increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021.

But this phenomenon won’t just go away as COVID-19 cases decline, says Reese Druckenmiller, a clinical social worker at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

“There are still people who don’t want to leave their homes,” she says. “Some people are naturally more anxious than others, and we know that worry It can come from different experiences and traumas. This pandemic has been shocking to people.”

Although there is little research on the psychological effects of epidemics, scientists are beginning to explore this. newly reconsidering Posted in International Journal of Cognitive Therapy It is concluded that based on the available research and the effects of past epidemics, COVID-19 is likely to have a significant impact on people. Psychological health, especially those already struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and health anxiety, along with people on the front lines of healthcare.

According to the authors, because the virus is asymptomatic among certain populations, there is more concern about infection and inadvertent spreading to people at risk.

Not to mention the flood of disturbing news over the past year, Druckenmiller notes.

“One thing I noticed during the pandemic: The news had changed. There are still regular news stories, but at the front of every newscast were the numbers, how many people died, how many people were hospitalized,” she says.

Some of Druckenmiller’s patients who are more health-focused saw themselves as an additional burden—another source of concern.

For those still uncomfortable with a sudden return to public places, Druckenmiller recommends taking small steps. She suggests starting to leave the house every day, even if it’s just for walks. It is also important to be honest with your loved ones about your comfort level.

“Our brain is very flexible and fluid, but it also doesn’t just turn a dime,” she says. “If I was told over the past year that this is horrible it might kill me, I brain It cannot be modified quickly. We need evidence through experience.”