Many people are getting anxious about the coronavirus epidemic. This is an unprecedented global pandemic, without any scientifically proven cure as yet. For many of us, it is the first time dealing with more serious mental health problems. While some of the anxiety is justified, other cases tend to be unwarranted, and therefore, these may be issues that require treatment.
The thing about anxiety is that it is a naturally occurring response of the human body to stress. All of us have it to a certain extent, but higher levels of anxiety require treatment. For people who manage anxiety of the heightened form for the first-ever time, it is potentially tricky to tell whether the panic related to COVID-19 is usual or a reason to worry. Learning the distinction amid anxiety and fear is a potentially good way to determine it, as per experienced medical professionals.
Read on to know ways to tell whether your anxiety is a treatment-worthy condition or something less serious. It is worth noting that whatever we will say here is just general information and should not be viewed as the ultimate medical advice.
Fear Versus Anxiety
With the novel coronavirus still posing a threat to our health, it is natural to fear about contracting COVID-19. However, too much fear about it is a potential sign of anxiety. When you have this fear, you may do certain things that you might not have done had the pandemic been not there. An example is getting your house sanitized each time you head out.
Let us elaborate on this example a bit more. Imagine that you are living in a place where COVID-19 positive cases are low and that you have a normal immune system. It would be slightly unusual for you to get your residence cleaned and sanitized every time you go out. On the other hand, the same action would be justified in the event you are immunocompromised and the coronavirus positive cases are high in your location.
In the second situation, there would be a legitimate reason for you to fear, but this may not be the case in the first scenario. This is the distinction between fear and anxiety: the former is on the basis of fact, but the latter is not.
Other Things To Consider
You should think about many other things to determine the true nature of your panic. One of these is medical history, especially an issue that dates back to a considerably long time. If you had an issue in the past and if it returns in the epidemic period, then it might have to be treated. For instance, assume that you had symptoms of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) some ten years ago. In the event of your OCD symptoms are coming back to haunt you, you should take it seriously.
Anxiety is among the states of minds of an OCD patient. Has your anxiety exacerbated to the extent that just hearing human noise outside your window puts you on an emotional edge? If it has, then it could be that you are experiencing bouts of OCD again. The extent of anxiety is an important consideration. Medical experts say that anxiety should be an excessive enough response to the risk of contracting COVID-19 for the issue to be possibly problematic.
How To Overcome It
It is essential to act as per the public-health tips of the state and federal government. However, in the event, your anxiety keeps you from having a walk without anyone else for company, challenge yourself to perform it. Just be sure to at least follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two of the main tips of both organizations are wearing masks and social distancing. So, try to go for that socially-distanced amble by following both guidelines.
The thing about anxiety is that when you run away from the problem, it is likely to come back in a heightened form. Therefore, medical professionals recommend facing your fears head-on instead of running away from it. This is referred to as ‘exposure therapy’, an approach where medics encourage individuals to confront their anxiety. As per medical professionals, knowing how to manage anxiety with what they describe as ‘approach’, will improve one’s capability of handling the present epidemic. Therefore, individuals who were able to control anxiety before the epidemic may be having a much easier time as compared to the first-timers.
Reach Out To Medical Professionals If Required
It is advisable to seek medical help when anxiety makes you unable to do daily tasks and when you cannot manage it by yourself. There exist specialized hotlines devoted to helping individuals having a substance abuse history, teenaged people, and those experiencing generalized anxiety in the epidemic period.