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COVID-19 and Its Effects on Mental Health 

“To be or not to be, that is the question?” is a question far too many Americans are asking themselves as we face a worldwide pandemic. As state, county, city, and local governments formulate long and short range plans – applicable to the needs of their specific communities, many within those communities are experiencing mental illness, behavior disorders, chronic stress, and suicidal thoughts. Psychologists, counselors, and therapists have reported an increase in diagnoses of psychogenic death (also known as “give-up-itis,” death) auto-euthanasia and psychological death – all related to a desire to end a life or stop living.

What COVID-19 is Doing to Our Mental Health

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a parallel anxiety epidemic referred to clinically as a type of mass “psychogenic COVID-19”. Can we attribute the increase in reported suicides to this clinical diagnosis? Psychogenic death occurs when someone can no longer cope, sees no way out, and lets themselves die. Suicide, however, comes with a long list of diagnosed illnesses and an array of factors that causes a person to become suicidal. Despite the juxtaposition in the two, a life is lost and a family is left without a loved one. The licensed professional counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services understand the adverse factors and outrageous fortune this pandemic is causing and are trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses and behavioral disorders brought on and complicated by COVID-19.

The psychiatric community tells us it will be five to ten years before we know the total number of suicides related to COVID-19. They report the requirement to shelter-in-place affects mental health, as does social distancing, the absence of family, loss of employment, and media’s constant reporting on the pandemic’s effect on lives, lifestyle, and the state of the economy. As the number of Americans affected by the virus rises and sheltering-in-place and social distancing continues, isolation, fear of contagion, and uncertainty increases. Current surveys and mental health screenings report more than a 40% increase (and/or exacerbation) in depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Recent evidence indicates an increase in domestic abuse, child abuse, and substance abuse is associated with COVID-19. In addition, the CDC reports a state or city requirement to wear a mask, and/or wearing a mask can lead to and/or exacerbate symptoms of mental illness.

Meet With Our Oklahoma Counselors and Therapists Today for Help

To date, there is no cure for COVID-19. However, Improving Lives Counseling Services has a team of licensed, professional counselors, therapists, and case managers in 16 office locations across the state of Oklahoma – diagnosing, treating, supporting, and caring for children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors experiencing symptoms of mental illness, a behavior disorder, suicidal thoughts, or a suicidal attempt due to COVID-19. In Suicidal Facts and Figures, United States 2020, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports: “90% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death.” It is only through intervention can you or someone you love avoid becoming a statistic.

We understand there is a stigma, and yes culture, dogma, ethnicity, and class can prevent you, a friend, or family member from seeking treatment. We also know psychiatric counseling, and mental health therapy and treatment is an effective way to prevent suicide – saving the life of you, that friend, or that loved family member. Improving Lives Counseling Services offers individual, couples, family, and group (social distancing) in-person and (online) virtual sessions. Your life and the lives of those you love and care about the most matter. Call 918-960-7852, or visit our website, and book an appointment today.