MENTAL ILLNESS

'Anxiety, OCD': How to protect your mental health during Covid-19

Anxiety levels tend to go up during these difficult times.

In Summary

• Psychologist Riziki Ahmed tells the Star that she receives at least three calls a day for people who have these disorders calling on how to deal with the situation.

• She notes that to avoid feeling anxious, there are some steps that the patient needs to follow to avoid increasing the levels of their illness.

Mental health
RAISE AWARENESS; Mental health
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With the global deaths hitting over 18,000 due to coronavirus, mental health is a cause for concern for everyone who has an existing mental illness.

Be it OCD, anxiety or even depression, being concerned about the news is understandable but your health comes first.

For many people, it can make the health conditions they have even worse.

 
 
 

Psychologist Riziki Ahmed tells the Star that she receives at least three calls a day for people who have these disorders.

 

“We acknowledge people who are most likely to have stress, anxiety and depression. Their anxiety levels tend to go up during these times. And they call more often to know how to deal with the situation,” she says.

Speaking on phone on Thursday, Ahmed notes that these kinds of people need extra care to be able to deal with such issues.

But she notes that to avoid feeling anxious, there are some steps that the patient needs to follow to avoid increasing the levels of their illness.

Stop over-stimulation

“Don’t watch too much information in regards to the coronavirus outbreak, stick to the facts,” Ahmed says.

This, she says, will help a person overcome all the trauma that comes with some uncertain news. She notes that following up on everything can break a person’s heart.

 
 
 

Create routine

 

As a person suffering from mental illness, Ahmed notes that these people need to put a clear structure of doing things to prevent them from thinking too much about the disease.

“Do some form of exercise after working for some time. Take walks and stretch a little bit,” she says.

Practice relaxation techniques

Sit down and take a deep breath.

“Anybody stressed can practice this. For those who are spiritual, they can take prayers seriously at this time to bring down the anxiety,” Ahmed notes.

Rest and sleep

Sleep on time and do not stay awake until late because you are working from home.

The body needs rest and this will ensure that you are not over stimulated with unnecessary information on Covid-19.

Reach out to friends

Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.

“Reach out to a friend or somebody you can laugh with or talk to about what is going on in the world,” Ahmed notes.

You can maintain these connections without increasing your risk of getting the virus by talking on the phone. In addition, you can also create Whatsapp platforms to chat and address issues arising.

Get information from reliable sources 

Some legitimate and reliable sources of Covid-19-related news and updates include the Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya spokesman Cyrus Oguna, World Health Organisation among others.


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