As tough as these times have been, there have been some bright spots.
In fact, some people who have suffered terribly from symptoms of their disorders are actually stabilizing and improving. Feeling as though they’re less “disordered” and almost more normal than they’ve felt before. Can you imagine? In fact, as much as we’ve struggled with grief, loss, and frustration, as well as worsened conditions from disorders, fallout from the covid pandemic may not be all bad.
It’s something of a phenomenon.
On the other hand, it may just be common sense. For instance, for some who struggle with shame and increased anxiety because of social anxiety, to be allowed to remain at home, and visit with your doctor through telepsychiatry, the pressure to interact in a public setting among strangers is gone.
On top of that, that telepsychiatry visit gives you a sense of closeness with your psychiatrist you may not feel in the office. Some people feel less intimidated, and are even more likely to ask the doctor how she’s doing.
Some with agoraphobia may also feel more relaxed, since so many others they know are also safely locked up at home.
Even those under a dark cloud of depression, feel less like the “odd man out” because there are so many experiencing depression for the first time and are so alarmed, so baffled, and are looking for someone to talk to about it.
On the other hand, for most of the rest of us, there are all sorts of ways the pandemic has affected us. And it’s been a burden.
It might have been novel and interesting for the more optimistic the first month or two, but few still find it engaging now.
The Difference Between Depression and Grief
It’s important to understand that what you’re feeling may not be depression or anxiety at all. In fact, it may have nothing to do with any pathology, per se.
The process you would naturally go through when you grieve the loss of what used to be… could be affecting you. You may be also grieving the loss of a loved one. But grief is a natural part of life, and it includes feelings that are painful and troubling.
Think of it like you’re adapting: a completely healthy way to adjust to new challenges. Feeling deep loss, then over time adjusting to that missing person or those elements in your life, and finding ways to live with it.
Because the fallout from the Covid pandemic may not be all bad at all…in spite of the things you miss.
Do you miss eating at your favorite restaurant..? The wonderful food, yes…but you can pick that up and take it home…no it’s the entire experience, isn’t it? The way the wine tastes after they pour it, the wonderful service, the ambiance. Do you miss your children catching the bus each morning after breakfast, and the peace and quiet that settles over your home while you drink your coffee…?
It’s the little things. And you miss them, and that’s ok. While it’s not uncommon to get angry…(that’s the first stage of grieving, by the way)… it’s also not all that productive to get stuck there, is it?
So you look for ways to reduce the impact of it all by finding ways to help others, reaching out with kindness… and catching up on your reading.
We’re All In This Together and Fallout From the Covid Pandemic Can’t Keep Us from Getting Through To Brighter Days
And it stands to reason—doesn’t it?—that you are experiencing different effects from the pandemic and its side effects than your neighbor, your co-worker, and your family members.
If you’ve not been someone with a depressive disorder in the past, but you feel terrible right now, don’t panic. Because you’re walking your own path. You may be grieving the loss of life as you knew it up until December 2019… or…you may actually have been so devastated by these blows that you’ve developed a disorder and need treatment.
If you need it, you’ll get it. And if you need to try some experiences we’ve talked about before to nourish your resilience, strengthen your compassion, and improve your wellbeing… well how much better is it if there really is something you can do yourself?
On the other hand…
Which is why at Innovative Psychiatry we continue to be mask-wearing essential services for you, if you need us.
If you find yourself despondent, hopeless, unable to see any way to function, call us.
We provide ketamine treatment in a safe, protected environment so you can get a fresh breath of air, a sort of new lease on life, and the energy and initiative to make changes in your life you want to make.
I hasten to say that ketamine treatment really doesn’t accomplish these things for absolutely everyone who receives it, simply because there isn’t any treatment that makes everyone well.
Even so, its beneficial effects on most of those with treatment resistant depression is nothing short of extraordinary. So much so, that NO ONE should suffer indefinitely without remedy.
There is hope.
And the promise of a rewarding and fulfilling life.
Let us help you take the next step to wellbeing and peace.
To the restoration of your best self,
Lori Calabrese, M.D.