I NEED HELP! Now what?

More than one year into the COVID pandemic, Americans are more concerned than ever about their mental health and the mental health of their children.

A recent poll by the American Psychiatric Association showed:

  • 43% of adults reported the pandemic had a serious impact on their mental health

  • 48% of adults with children said the pandemic has caused mental health problems for one or more of their children

  • 19% of adults are having sleep problems

  • 18% of adults are having trouble concentrating

  • 17% of adults have increased drug and alcohol use

  • 33% of adults have gained weight

Fortunately, many Americans are more willing to seek help for these problems. Unfortunately, the mental health landscape can be confusing and it is hard to know where to turn. I think it is helpful to understand the different types of help in terms of environment, psychology, and biology (see diagram below). Some examples:

  • If the pandemic has changed your environment which in turn has affected your ability to concentrate (biology), then you could try wellness strategies like meditation.

  • If you have gained weight (biology) but everything else is normal, seek help from a primary care doctor or a nutritionist.

  • If you are primarily anxious (psychology) but biology and environment are the same, a psychotherapist is a good place to start.

  • If you are feeling depressed (psychological state) and it is affecting your sleep (biology), you might get help from a psychiatrist who can help with both.

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed (psychological state) due to the changes in your environment (like the need to work remotely), then a coach might be a good support.

Dr Jennie Byrne © All Rights Reserved