COVID-19 is a pandemic that not only affects our immune and respiratory systems but also our mental health. In June of 2020, the CDC reported that four out of ten Americans suffer from mental health issues or substance abuse. In the past month, eleven-percent of people suffering from mental health issues have reported severe suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. The number will only grow as death tolls increase, businesses close, and social isolation is in effect.
There are limiting factors that prevent an individual from seeking help in normal circumstances, financial restraint, negative stigmas, and social perception.
At Soulev, we care and want to help by providing high quality CBD products that can enable people to cope with anxiety, educating by and mental health awareness.
To help decrease the heavy impact that not discussing mental health has had on society, it is in everyone's hands to normalize the discussion. We need to start having open conversations and reflect on what it is we are feeling and how we can take actions to help with those feelings. Now more than ever before, we need to focus on making coping mechanisms as readily available so when someone is struggling they know where to turn.
The following is a brief story of Joan Arias, a 48-year-old female from South America that had COVID-19 and sees it as a mental battle that is not discussed.
It caught me by surprise; my husband and I took all the necessary precautions. We stayed home as much as possible, limited personal contact, wore double masks and gloves everywhere, and implemented an extensive disinfecting protocol for the people that work for us. So in our mind, we were far from getting COVID-19. Our maid started developing flu-like symptoms. As soon as she told us, my mind started rambling. "Did we catch it? Is it COVID-19? Will I die? Did she lie to us? Why? What to do next?" all of these thoughts at the same time led to a constant state of paranoia and emotional instability.
The following week I woke up every day with a new symptom and the worry just continued to build. On the first day, I was congested, then I began coughing. By the third day, my sense of smell and taste was gone. I knew the probability of having COVID-19 was high, so I got tested. When I received the news of testing positive, it was as if someone sentenced me to death.
Nowadays we are currently bombarded continuously by the media with the COVID infection rate and death toll. It was hard not to think of becoming one more number in the global statistics or dying without seeing my loved ones.
The problem with being diagnosed with COVID-19 is that there is no standard protocol to treat it. Hence, you become a guinea-pig in the hope of recovering and not dying. It was hard to keep my spirits up and be emotionally healthy as the uncertainty of when it would get better or worse eats you alive. Social discrimination is not expected, one would hope that your friends and acquaintances will support you throughout the process, but this was not the case. You are looked down upon; you feel guilty for being sick, as though you are baggage or an alien.
Written by Nilsen Arias