No man is an island. Even introverts who do well on their own still need some degree of interactions with other people. We are wired to connect socially and when quarantine does not allow for that, it goes without saying that your mental wellbeing is affected.
That’s why even as you try to protect yourself from covid-19, you also need to take care of your mental health. Pulselive spoke to an expert, one Grace Kariuki who shared some of the signs to watch out for to know if quarantine is harming your mental health and what to do about it.
Signs to watch out for
1. You easily get frustrated
According to this expert, if you often get frustrated, have anger outburst and aggressive behaviours such as yelling, slamming doors and being violent, quarantine could be to blame.
“It is an indication that one’s tolerance level for normal relational stress or frustrations is very low and one becomes very sensitive. If as a parent you are yelling at your kids, hitting them and withholding affection, kindness and attention, then you know that your tolerance level for stress is very low.” Grace tells Pulselive.
2. You are struggling with guilt, fearful, and angry thoughts
While most people could be struggling with fearful thoughts due to the uncertainty surrounding covid-19, if you are affected to the extent of feeling mental pressure, then there is a problem. Grace says that on top of it, you could experience physical symptoms such as headaches, running stomach, restlessness, backaches and increased heart rates which can be symptoms of anxiety.
3. Crying spells and feeling sorry for oneself
“Feeling lonely even with your loved ones around you might be an indication that you are slowly slipping into a depressed state. Lack of motivation or feeling uninterested in things you normally enjoy, including intimacy with your spouse, may indicate a depressed mood. Other symptoms include sleeping too much or struggling to fall and stay asleep.” This expert notes.
This is another common sign that shows that quarantine is negatively affecting your mental health. If you feel mentally and physically tired even after sleeping and having enough rest, it’s probably time you sought help from a mental health expert.
5. You are feeling hopeless and helpless
This is a dangerous phase that causes a depressive mood and Grace Kariuki tells us that it can also lead to suicidal ideation. It’s when you start to lose hope and worry that covid-19 might never end. These feelings create a panic that affects your mental wellbeing.
What to do if you experience the above symptoms
- Talk to a close friend or loved one
- Reach out to your faith community
- Anonymously seek help on social media support groups
- Reach out to a medical doctor if you are experiencing physical symptoms
- Reach out to a mental health counsellor to help you explore and process your thoughts and feelings