Don't Let COVID-19 Anxiety Overwhelm You

Central Florida Health News|April 2020

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Don't Let COVID-19 Anxiety Overwhelm You
New illnes and pandemics have created intense fear and panic throughout human history, but somehow science prevails.
By Mary Joye, LMHC

Protecting yourself from new contagions is something we should be concerned about, but many are developing vicarious trauma and anxiety symptoms, glued to the news about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, when prevention turns to panic, we have more than a physical health crisis; mental health can also be impaired.

Knowledge truly is power. Education and intellectual application can override emotions and dissuade anxiety. That said, if you’re a senior, child, immune compromised, or have lung, heart or diabetes issues, check with your doctor about what you can do to keep yourself safe.

If only the anxiety created by COVID-19 is your major concern, below are seven building blocks for stabilization.

1. Precautions vs. panic. Panic and fear stimulate the production of stress hormones, which lessen our immune systems. It’s normal to have some anxiety and to cancel travel plans if you are immune compromised. That’s proactive, not reactive. Panic puts us in fight, flight or frozen mode and produces chaos and fear. Precautions relieve anxiety by reducing risk factors.

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April 2020