The COVID-19 pandemic has been experienced by many as a “collective trauma”- an event that shakes our sense of safety and normalcy on a societal level. Our daily routines including work and childcare have been interrupted. Socializing and feeling connected to others, a key component to wellness has been made harder. Employment, health, finances, and daily routines have been commonly interrupted or made more difficult by the current circumstances. Sudden and unexpected changes can prompt an increase in mental health distress. If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are not sure if treatment is right for you, or where to start, MindWell NYC offers the necessary resources.
Are you feeling “on edge”, sad, or increasingly fatigued?
The pandemic has put our minds and bodies under stress. Bodies experiencing stress release a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, also referred to as our “built in alarm system”. The longer our bodies are exposed to increased Cortisol the more we may notice changes to things like sleep, appetite and digestion, energy, heart rate, blood pressure, and immune function.
Additionally, there are many compounding variables that have made the pandemic even more challenging. Humans tend to thrive on routine, social connectedness, and access to fresh air. Things are currently unpredictable and the majority of us are actually grieving. Grieving is not just related to death, but rather the loss of people, places, and tasks that provide us with a sense of purpose. Access to those things has changed and you may feel like you are experiencing loss. Perhaps you have noticed increased feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and confusion about how to spend your time.
Furthermore you may have noticed an increase in worry thoughts about the future, or what you expected the immediate future to look like. You may notice difficulty deciphering between something genuinely risky (for example, not wearing a mask in public) and something deemed safe (taking off your mask at home). This is a common reaction to a stressor like a pandemic and nonetheless it may feel confusing and overwhelming. Perhaps you are a front line worker who has been experiencing repeated thoughts and memories related to something you experienced during the worst days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Or, perhaps you feel inundated by scary news headlines are the world has started to feel scary overall.
You are not alone.
The good news is that you are not alone in any of the aforementioned experiences. Research has shown that the majority of individuals have experienced an increase in one or more mental health concern since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The likelihood is that you are experiencing a normal psychological response to an abnormal circumstance. However, that does not mean you have to continue to suffer. Therapy at MindWell NYC can help improve your daily experience and help you feel more like yourself again.
What can I expect from therapy?
MindWell NYC therapists practice evidence-based treatments, meaning, treatments that research have shown to work. You and your MindWell NYC therapist will come up with an individualized and goal oriented treatment plan based on your history, current concerns, and objectives. Part of this work will include identifying what you are already doing well and figuring out how to increase your use of those strategies. For example, you may already have a relaxation routine that you find helpful or self-encouragement strategies that have been useful for you. Using these tools, combined with new skills you will learn in therapy, we can help move you towards a future that includes less fear and more freedom.
During your sessions, we will collaboratively help you start to identify the ways in which your mood and behavior has changed since the start of the pandemic and how those are interfering in your life. We will help you evaluate your anxiety-related thoughts and worries to determine how helpful and accurate they are for you and what thoughts may be more helpful to include in your narrative. We will provide psychoeducation for you to better understand and label your experience to determine whether or not your behaviors are helping or harming in the day to day. Additionally we will try to creatively problem solve ways for you to engage in things you enjoy, even in this rapidly changing environment whether that be how to avoid technology fatigue, how to socialize from a distance, or how to find the willingness to apply for a new, work from home, job.
This process is a collaborative effort. We will help you celebrate your successes along the way by highlighting the progress that you have made and by celebrating the skills you are starting to incorporate into your daily routine.
You can learn more effective ways to cope.
Many people wonder how long therapy will take and the hard part is that the short answer is that everyone is different. However, we can tell you that our treatment interventions are meant to be goal-focused and short-term with the overarching objective of getting you back to feeling like yourself again as soon as possible. No one can completely avoid the ways in which the pandemic has impacted our daily lives. However, by pursuing treatment at MindWell NYC we can promise that you do not have to suffer alone and that you can adapt to cope with this ever-changing world as effectively as possible