Are you feeling the impact?

Apr 27, 2020

Are you feeling the impact of the covid-19 pandemic?  Or know someone who is?  Of course.  We’re all impacted in some way.  The question is really how & to what extent.  This week, I’m digging into 4 concerns that may prevent us from seeking the help we need. 

A few days ago I started listening to a highly recommended book called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D., & I was struck by the following statement.  

“If a person were condemned to spend months in isolation, cut off from all normal activities & interpersonal relationships, a substantial depression would result.  Even young monkeys slip into a retarded withdrawn state if they are separated from their peers & confined to a small cage.”

This book was first published in 1980...pre-quarantine.  

Given we’ve been in quarantine for 2-10 months...I’ve lost track...I can’t imagine how many psychology-related studies will be performed & how many books will be written POST-quarantine due to the psychological impact this is having on ALL of us in some way.  

Are you impacted but feeling like you shouldn’t be?  Possibly feeling like you “should” be able to work through it alone?  Or know someone who is?  

If so, I encourage you to seek help in some way & to encourage others to do the same.  This may simply be by talking to friends & supporting others, or it could come in the form of therapy or medication.

One of my favorite stories isn't even my own.  It's the story of a good friend of mine….She was working with a colleague/friend at one point & was told, "Geez…Take some prozac."  Her response?  "This is me ON prozac!"  Makes me laugh every time.

One of my favorite qualities about my friend is how REAL she has always been.  She has also been very open about the fact that she’s gone to therapy for years, & we’ve openly discussed on multiple occasions & have potentially saved one another some therapy costs in the process.

I’m a big fan of therapy, & I recommend anyone working through anything from their past (which is really anyone on the planet) see a therapist at some point in life.

I’m also a proponent of medication, when needed.  Not to say we should simply turn to medication when we’re feeling a little anxious or blue.  Of course we’ve all felt this way at one time or another.  We’re human.  

Also not to say we should rely solely on medication with no attempt to incorporate other healthy strategies into our lives...BUT...

If you are finding yourself incapable of getting out of bed...

If you’re finding yourself incapable of being anything other than a raging lunatic when your kid refuses to brush his teeth…

If you’re finding yourself reaching for the Vodka multiple times every day...

If a glass of spilled milk literally brings you to tears...

And if all of this persists beyond a few days…

I encourage you to consider seeking help, potentially in the form of therapy & potentially medication.

I’ve gone to a therapist several times throughout my adult life, & I’ve been on medication for anxiety at times throughout my adult life as well.  

Over the last couple years, as I’ve discovered my own coaches & have learned some additional ways to reduce anxiety & to lead a better life overall, I’ve reduced my dosage and was on my way to eliminating it entirely.

However, due to the non-existence of alone time over the past several weeks, something I DESPERATELY  REQUIRE, I recently decided to increase it slightly to prevent myself from committing arson.  

I know some of you might be judging.  And that’s fine.  I just want to share MY story in case it helps you judge yourself or someone else a little less.

Some concerns that may cause apprehension & prevent us from seeking help, potentially in the form of therapy or medication...are concerns I initially had as well...

Concern 1 - Others have it worse than I do.  I “SHOULDN’T” need help.  

Yes, of COURSE some people have it worse.  There will ALWAYS be someone who has it worse.  

Does that nullify our own challenges & emotions?

I might think I SHOULD be able to get through just fine because I’m blessed to be home with my family.  How bad could it really be?  

That I SHOULD be stronger than I currently feel.  Why can’t I just smile & say, “C’mon now, sweetie.  I’ve told you to brush your teeth 24 times...It’s time to put the iPad down.”  

I might think everyone else seems to have it all together.  I SHOULD, too.  

NO one has it ALL together.  Everyone is working through SOMETHING, quarantined or not.  

And what leads me to believe I SHOULD, anyway?  Based on what?

Based on statistics from the last person who lived my exact same life?

We need to stop “shoulding” on ourselves.  

To my knowledge, no one gets a medal for leading a life without therapy or medication.  

“Congratulations, Sheri.  You did it!  You got through your entire life without the help of therapy or medication!  Here’s a trophy to display on your eternal bookcase!”

Concern 2Therapy or medication is a sign of weakness.

EVERYTHING requires maintenance if we truly want to keep it in good condition.  

Ford trucks are pretty sturdy, but they still require oil changes.  Their belts still need replaced, & their suspension may still go out.  

(My Ford knowledge is limited...I only know Mike Rowe once did their commercials, which leads me to believe they’re generally reliable.)

But my point is...even Mike Rowe sponsored vehicles require some level of maintenance, which alone does not indicate they’re more easily damaged than others.

Who is the judge of our supposed weakness?  

Is proclaiming it as a weakness in the best interest of our friends & family?  The ones we’re with the majority of the time?  Who unfortunately get the brunt of our negative emotions?  

“Man, Dad has provided zero emotional support & has yelled non-stop for the past four months, but I’m just glad he’s not weak.”  

It is possible to get through life without support, but why?

Concern 3Therapists’ offices are closed, & I don’t have time, anyway.

Nope.  Remote therapy has become especially popular during this time, which has made it especially easy to get help.

Based on a recent conversation with a therapist I know, provides the ability to find a therapist in your city & state, based on your needs.

Concern 4I already know what I need to do...including...

  • Exercising
  • Eating better
  • Journaling
  • Meditating
  • Limiting my screen time
  • Getting more sleep
  • Surrounding myself with positive people (with at least 6 feet in between)

Great.  Are we all doing ALL of those things every day?  

We all know what we need to do to lose weight & be healthy, too.  So why are US obesity rates greater than 30%?  Have 30% of Americans not heard about eating healthy foods & exercise?  

Nope.  Knowledge isn’t key.  APPLIED knowledge is key. 

Everything is harder than it “should” be for many reasons, including the fact that willpower is a limited resource.

Although SIMPLE changes can make a HUGE impact, no one does everything perfectly ALL the time, & even if we do, it doesn’t mean our negative emotions will be eliminated entirely.

Especially when our “normal” comes to a screeching halt due to a global pandemic.


I whole-heartedly appreciate you making it to the end of this...if you did...& for even opening if you merely jumped to the end.  I expect these to be much shorter going forward.  The pandemic has clearly evoked some strong emotions for me, which I felt compelled to share.  :-)

Have an excellent week!  

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