Most of us were not emotionally prepared for the global pandemic. Doctor, nurses and other medical professionals have suddenly found themselves working double shifts with often a lack of resources to care for intensely poorly and dying patients. As most of us stayed at home, our frontline workers showed up day after day, putting their health and life on the line.
Many, to keep their families safe, found other living arrangements. The idea of possibly exposing family members to something they may have been exposed to at work was too much of a risk. So many have had to deal with the stress of being away from family during the height of the pandemic.
While many frontline workers appear stoic, this stress takes its toll, even on the bravest amongst us. The relentless nature of the pandemic has found many of our medical professionals burnt out and experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety
It is common for everyone to feel stressed or sad from time to time. But when specific symptoms linger, you are typically dealing with depression or anxiety. If you have never dealt with either before, you may not know the signs.
Symptoms of depression can include:
A persistent feeling of sadness
A lack of energy
Frustration or angering quickly
Feelings of hopelessness
Insomnia or oversleeping
A general loss of enjoyment of previous hobbies or activities
A lowing of libido
Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
Trouble falling or staying asleep
It is possible to deal with symptoms of depression and anxiety concurrently.
Is it time to seek support for yourself and your relationship?
For many healthcare workers, the focus is on how they can support others. Self-care and asking others for help is often not something that they are used to doing.
If you are a medical professional or you are close to someone who has been and continues to be on the frontline, there is support available. A psychotherapist or counsellor can offer strategies that will help you cope with these difficult symptoms and support the underlying emotions.
If you or someone you know would benefit from support either individually or as a couple, please get in touch with me. I offer a free 20 min consultation call or zoom session and online or in-person appointments from my office in Hove.