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  • Writer's pictureLauren Gordon

Mental Health During Isolation

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

Many of us have experienced mental illness at some stage throughout our lives, whether it be temporary or chronic. Being isolated can have a very negative impact on your mental health when you are not keeping busy, doing usual routines, worried about what could possibly happen, being concerned about the future and your role in the future. The hardest part is getting through those long nights when you overthink everything, you catastrophize, you wonder if you said the right thing to someone, you regret things that have been said times before and then the thought of your own existence becomes an issue.

You consider ending your life. You think about how much easier it would be to just end your life because it will make everything better as you are just a burden on society with nothing to give anyway, right? You think about the impact your passing would have on others, who would find you, how you would do it, who would even care?

It takes hours to get to sleep, if you can sleep at all and you just beg for some kind of reprieve from your own thoughts which seem to focus on only the negative aspects of life.

This is true for so many people out there who you know and think you know well. We walk about with smiles on our faces but these thoughts creep in. Someone could have everything and seem perfect from the outside or someone could have nothing. We are all the same. Some have had more trauma in their lives but this is not ever to be compared to the next person. We all manage trauma differently and it is not a competition. While I do not have exact figures and we won’t until this is over, it is guaranteed that the victims of suicide will be higher during this period.

Never has there been such an opportunity in life to reset and consider what is important to you or not that important to you. It’s an opportunity to set new goals and start again, recreate yourself. Never have we had the time to really put time into considering what we want our life to be like and what we want to be remembered for. Let’s put a positive spin on this and flip those negative thoughts. You’ve lost your job, but this is the perfect opportunity to consider doing something you’ve always wanted to do or to study. If you ask people for help, they will not turn their backs on you. This is a difficult time and is not a reflection of the person you are because you need assistance.

Let’s come out of this stronger than before. Think about the top 5 places in the world that you would like to travel to, think about the activities that you would like to do but have always been too afraid to do. Reach out to old friends and mend old relationships. Many people have at times hit rock bottom and have been able to turn their lives around to be the most successful people we know. Think about what success is to you and how you can achieve it.

Often when people consider completing suicide, they feel stuck. They feel like they just want things to end and the only way they can see that happening is by removing themselves. Unfortunately, more suicides happen when people are intoxicated as this reduces our inhibitions. If you have these thoughts and feelings, try the 3 day rule: If you still feel the same way after 3 days, seek help, but the feelings will usually subside by that time. As difficult as it is, ask for help. It’s not an easy thing to do but there are so many people out there ready to help you out, whether you think you are worth of receiving that assistance or not.

Take the time to get some strategies in place of how to manage these feelings, identify your triggers, make time to connect with family – don’t wait for them to call you as it goes both ways, plan an exercise routine even if it’s just a walk each couple of days, find a podcast you enjoy and listen to that and get to know your neighbours. Looking forward to the future is difficult as there is no set time line as to when this will end, but by having something to look forward to gives us hope, and the only person who can take that from us is us.

Take care of each other and remember that this will be over one day soon. What changes are you going to make for the future? Who will you be when we get through this?

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