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Mental Health Challenges We Are Facing From The Pandemic

The entire family is vaccinated and ready to return to normal. There will be visits with extended family, dinners at your favorite restaurant, Friday night movies in an actual theater, and center court seats at the playoffs. It’s back to the workplace Monday through Friday, and soon back to school. Does returning to normal with 50% of Americans who feel they completely lost control of their lives while sheltering in place, dampen the allure of back to normal?

A June 2021 survey found: “Since March 2020, 42% of Americans report struggling with anxiety, 37% with depression, and 31% with loneliness. 47% report feeling helpless, and 44% say they hit their lowest emotional point within the last year.” The good news is “six in 10 people credit the pandemic for changing how they view the importance of mental health, and more than half said they now pay closer attention to their mental wellbeing than they did before the pandemic. Improving Lives Counseling Services provides mental health check-ups in-person and online for children, adolescents, teens, seniors, and adults in individual, couples, family, and group sessions.

In a recent study, psychologists found the increased level of loneliness experienced during the coronavirus disease confinement led to internalizing symptoms of mental illness and emotional dysregulation. Defined as a “poorly regulated response that does not fall within the traditionally accepted range of emotional reaction, it is often brought on by emotional trauma, excessive fear, anger, anxiety, spousal abuse, child abuse, or loneliness. “Someone experiencing emotional dysregulation may have angry outbursts, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and other self-damaging behaviors.”

Emotional dysregulation has been identified as one way in which mental illness contributes to criminal behavior. Overall, crime fell 23% in the first month of COVID lockdown yet has increased drastically since January 2021. Returning to normal has included a return to robberies, car jackings, mass shootings, rapes, murders, and suicides. Though psychologists question any notable juxtaposition between mental illness and crime, COVID-19 has been the exception. Americans who previously displayed no signs or symptoms of mental illness and had no history of criminal activity are committing crimes. To-date, 3,400 people have been arrested for refusing to wear a mask on an airplane – over 150 between July 4th and July 13th, 2021. These are your family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends, now jailed and facing up to 20 years in prison. Is it hyperbole to correlate the recent increase in crime to mental illness as a result of COVID-19, or is it fact?

The coronavirus posed and continues to pose mental health challenges for children. Though there was a reduction in childhood arrests between 2009 and 2018, an average of 1900 children were arrested each day in 2020. Currently, a child or teen is arrested every 45 seconds, citing COVID-19 restrictions, parents losing jobs, periods of homelessness, hunger, poverty, abuse, and distance learning as reasons for committing crimes.

Meet With A Mental Health Professional Today

As you protect yourself and those you love from the mentally ill, protect yourself, and those you love with a mental health check-up. With early diagnosis and treatment, they can live the life they were meant to live. Fifty-seven percent of Americans report recent changes in technology make it easier to get mental health care. Our culturally diverse team of licensed, professional counselors and therapists offer virtual, in-person, and social-distancing in-person sessions. Your mental health matters. Call us.