Keeping an Eye on Our Mental Health
The pandemic has been going on for two years now. So how has it affected our mental health? Dr. Payal Kohli says it’s dramatically impacted our mental health.
Dr. Kohli says that by June of 2020, over 40% of people reported that the pandemic impacted their mental health. These impacts came in various ways, mostly with people experiencing more anxiety and more depression and substance use (drinking and drugs). Sadly, it also includes more people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Are the Kids Okay?
And it’s not just the adults experiencing adverse mental health effects from the pandemic. Kids can experience it too. Dr. Kohli says your child won’t necessarily come to you and tell you they’re feeling depressed or unmotivated. You may be the one to notice a change in their behavior. Things to be on the lookout for include:
- Acting out
- Temper tantrums
- A change in interests.
- Changes in their sleep pattern – maybe they’re sleeping too much or not enough.
- Has their eating changed?
- Have their interactions with their friends changed?
Children go through phases, so you want to keep track of how long it’s been going on, how frequently, and whether it interferes with your child’s performance at school.
Have a Radar on Your Friends and Family
Dr. Kohli also recommends keeping your radar up with your friends and family members. She says the big sign to look out for is a change in interests. For example, suppose someone you know suddenly loses interest in activities or hobbies that interested them before. In that case, that could be a sign they’re struggling and need help.
Other signs include a lack of concentration, suddenly performing poorly at work, more argumentative. You could also see changes in their weight and appetite.
If you want to check in on your mental health, Dr. Kohli recommends taking a 9Health:365 online assessment. From there, you can then take action to help yourself feel better, if you need it. Of course, that includes making sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating healthy.