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    Mental Health: How Does COVID Affect Human Psyche, Physicality?

    PA Covid-19 UpdatesIn times like these, staying home is the new normal. Most love the idea, but for some, it can be quite daunting. Almost three years and several variants later, mental illness sufferers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Whereas “normal” people may find it easier to cope with the times, people who are mentally challenged struggle to keep a sound mind. Especially those who are survivors of the illness. Unfortunately, many have succumb to their illnesses. This adds to the stigma of mental health awareness. So how do those who suffer cope in times like these? Is therapy alone enough?

    Mental Health Vs COVID

    According to Columbia University Irving Medical Center, reports prove that COVID survivors experience a major increase in anxiety, paranoia, and depression. In some cases, suicide is a factor. Some patients who test positive for COVID experience new on-set hallucinations.

    There is a link between viral infections and mental health, being that biological changes such as inflammation can influence behavior. Chemicals arising from inflammation cause neurons to die. When neurons aren’t communicating effectively, emotions, behavior and cognition can be altered. There are other factors that can determine neurobiological changes and psychological symptoms.

    With the winter surge in place, new variant Omicron is highly contagious, though the symptoms aren’t as deadly. Many are inevitably taking shelter to isolate until rates lower. For those who suffer from mental illnesses, isolation can make matters worse. According to Mayo Clinic, there is an increase of drug and alcohol use as people self medicate to cope. Drugs and alcohol have an adverse affect on mental health. So how should one cope?

    How To Cope

    1. Get enough sleep. Sleep helps regulate good chemicals in the brain.
    2. Eat healthy.- Eating healthy promotes better sleep habits and overall health.
    3. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Because COVID affects the lungs, those who smoke are at higher risk, while other factors weaken the immune system.
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