The human mind is powerful! There are millions of Americans who suffer from some type of mental illness. The COVID-19 Pandemic is making life very hard on those individuals who suffer from mental illness.
There are all types of medically recognized forms of mental illness. This article will only focus on anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder is a condition where the human body reacts to stress abnormally. Humans experience stressors every day. There is work stress, family stress, financial stress, religious stress, marital stress, parenting stress, and many more stressors. Stress is like a sledge hammer hitting your body. If not treated, it can kill. How your body reacts to these stressors is critical to your overrall health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there are added stressors affecting the lives of millions of Americans. I will list a number of them but there are many more.
The threat of illness and death. The threat of losing a good paying job. The threat of loved ones getting sick and dying. The uncertainty of the future. The threat of the economy crashing and losing your retirement. The threat of running out of essential supplies for your family. The threat of famine or not having enough food to eat. The threat of homelessness. The threat of isolation from family and loved ones. The threat of being judged negatively by society if tested positive for COVID-19. The stress of homeschooling children while also working a job. The stress of childcare when no daycares are open. The stress of paying your staff or keeping your small business open. The stress of paying bills.
Let’s be honest, these stressors are enough to send any human into the condition called anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder in its simplest form is your body reacting negatively to stress. It is very much like a flight or fight response to stress. A person’s brain can literally only take so much before it causes a mental breakdown.
According to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx (President Trumps Covid-19 Task Force), the following are the top three signs a person may have contracted the COVID-19 virus:
2. Dry cough
3. Shortness of breath
They have since learned that each patient is different. Many patients may have fatigue, chills, muscle aches, redness around the eyes, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.
Some patients are asymptomatic and carry COVID-19 but have no symptons.
As a result of these common symptons and asymptomatic carriers it is difficult to say that all patients have the COVID-19 virus without getting tested. People are being told to assume that everyone has the virus because the symptoms are so common.
Anxiety disorder manifests itself in the body in many similar ways. It is not uncommon for a patient under extreme stress to exhibit the following symptons:
1. Muscle Aches
5. Weakened immune system leading to fever.
7. Shortness of breath
8. Tightness in chest
9. Muscle weakness in the legs and arms
11. Outbursts of anger and frustration
A person can believe that they have contracted COVID-19, when in fact they are suffering from severe anxiety disorder.
The first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your physician and get medical advice. Other steps you can take are cutting all social media, and news media out of your life, excersing regularly, staying away from caffeine, and getting enough sleep. There are also prescriptions your doctor can prescribe that are non-addictive but will help calm your body and reduce your anxiety.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ the most important thing you can do is pray. Ask Jesus to help you in your anxiety and give you grace to live with it.
For the follower of Jesus Christ, they are never alone. God is always with them and working for their good. He is their source of strength and will give them the grace to overcome anxiety disorder. Jesus cares about every detail of their lives, especially anxiety disorder. He will help them in their time of need.
COVID-19 and Anxiety Disorder are very real threats and with government shutdowns, job layoffs, and illness, those who suffer with mental illness are struggling. It is my hope that this article will give the reader peace of mind that they will distinguish the difference between the virus and anxiety and not panic if they begin to develop symptoms.