It has been two very long years since COVID-19 first upended our lives, and it continues to wreak havoc across the world. The fallout of this global health crisis continues to reveal itself as studies show that our collective mental health has taken a massive hit thanks to the fear, anxiety, and isolation that comes with this seemingly never-ending pandemic.
While there is nothing we can do to stop the pandemic, Dr. Matthew Goldenberg wants to remind you of the importance of taking good care of your physical and mental health and wellness during these trying times.
Here, we explore the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our mental health and how you can improve and preserve your mental health through telepsychiatry.
COVID-19 and mental health by the numbers
There have been many studies over the past two years that have highlighted the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.
To start, the Census Bureau reported last year that one-third of people in the United States indicated clinical signs of anxiety, depression, or both.
Another study, conducted back in May 2020, found that, on the whole, Americans were reporting higher levels of stress, more concern about finances, and more trouble concentrating and being productive.
We all look for outlets and relief from suffering and so it may not be that surprising that alcohol use has risen considerably in the United States during the pandemic. One study found that frequency of alcohol consumption increased by 14%, and 17% of respondents report heavy drinking, which is defined as having two heavy drinking days inside of a week.
With newer lexicon including “Covidtinis” and “Quarantinis” and the isolation of working remotely, for many, happy hours have started earlier and earlier, For others, alcohol has been increasingly turned to escape and cope with the isolation and frustrations caused by Covid-19.
Behind the numbers
There are many reasons we are seeing alarming numbers when it comes to suffering mental health, and these numbers may not be coming down anytime soon as the pandemic continues to rage and people continue to be isolated and become more frustrated.
If you consider all we’ve been through, it’s little wonder that people are struggling. Thanks to dramatic changes in the way we live, work, and socialize, people are left scared, unsure of the future, and exhausted.
While the fear and anxiety that comes with a pandemic are likely very normal, the isolation and lack of social and societal norms, may have an even larger and lasting impact. This is why many people who have never suffered or struggled with their mental health are finding themselves needing help for the first time.
As we steer clear of social events, continue to work from home, and avoid large crowds, our worlds have shrunk and the support systems we have come to rely on are harder to access.
As a result of this isolation, depression and anxiety can worsen, sleep can suffer and efforts to self-medicate with alcohol and other substances become more commonplace.
How telepsychiatry can help
Since isolation and limited social support are two of the biggest stressors that are contributing to the poor mental health in our country, telepsychiatry provides a cutting edge, accessible and extremely supportive option to get the help that you need.
Thanks to advanced and secure video technology, you can get the confidential mental health evaluation and treatment that you may need during this trying time and, perhaps more importantly, not feel as if you are going through this alone.
Using a secure and confidential virtual connection, Dr. Goldenberg provides comprehensive mental health and substance abuse evaluations and individualized counseling/therapy, medication management and outside referrals that can help improve your mental health and wellness. Dr. Goldenberg collaborates with local therapists and treatment programs that provide a higher level of care. So no matter where you are starting, whether you are open to medications or want to go without them and whatever your treatment goals may be, it is possible to have a customized treatment program recommended just for you.
Dr. Goldenberg specializes in anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders, trauma, and sleep issues, and he understands how many of these issues are impacted and stressed by today’s current climate.
To get started, Dr. Goldenberg offers a free, 10-minute consultation so that you and he can discuss your issues and whether telepsychiatry can help.
Should you both feel confident that telepsychiatry would be beneficial, he will then schedule you for a full hour long psychiatric and substance abuse evaluation that will get you on the road to better mental health.
If you would like a lifeline to caring and compassionate mental health care, contact Dr. Goldenberg by calling our office or booking an appointment online today. Dr. Goldenberg is licensed to provide patients general psychiatry and addiction treatment throughout both California and Alaska.