COVID’s impact on mental health even after the virus is behind us

(WDEF) COVID has impacted many aspects of life including mental health. But what will the long-term effects be even after people get vaccinated and we get back to normal?

“Just ask for help. Just acknowledging that you realize that this is a little bit more than you’re used to that will prove a sense of relief anyway,” said Smith.

Therapist Kristin Smith in connection with Parkridge said this past year has been tough mentally on so many people due to pandemics.

“When your brain and your body are under stress for a prolonged amount of time it causes issues and you have more of those mood symptoms like more anxiety more depression. You also may experience that with much more increased severity,” said Smith.

Smith said even as we start to get a handle on the virus through vaccines, mental health problems just don’t go away.

“When it’s over in some capacity I should feel better. But that might not be the case, I think for most people it won’t be the case, they won’t feel better. We have to manage it, it is ongoing, you have to stay on top of your mental health,” said Smith.

However, she said getting things partially back to pre-pandemic will help.

“There’s a sense of relief so that immediate situation like anxiety it’s a little bit better. Seeing if there if you were cases, saying that the vaccines are more available, available in more groups. It provides a level of relief,” said Smith.

Treating mental health is a long-term process and things like going outside as the weather improves can help.

“As the weather improves, it will help. In addition to things opening up for things for us to participate in the social activities that we haven’t been able to do for a year. That will also boost people’s moods,” said Smith.

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