The COVID-19 epidemic has affected nearly every aspect of life, perhaps most especially mental health. As a result, many Ohioans have experienced a depression spike following the lockdowns. During the peak of the pandemic, when quarantines were in full effect, four in 10 adults in the United States reported symptoms of quarantine depression, with Ohio ranking 8th highest among all states.
While COVID-19 lockdowns haven’t happened for months, many people are still struggling with the effects of quarantine depression. Below is everything you need to know about COVID depression, and where you can get help in Ohio.
How Does Isolation Affect Mental Health?
It’s no secret that being locked indoors for any amount of time can have negative effects on your mental health. This, coupled with the nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, has created a recipe for disaster for thousands of people around the world.
During the months of stay-at-home orders, many people began to experience feelings of depression due to isolation. Even after lockdowns ended, socially distancing, lower capacity venues, and distance from high-risk family members have carried these feelings of isolation from outside the home. There has also been an increase in anxiety about the pandemic, as more COVID variants begin to crop up, which has led many to fear another lockdown.
Quarantine may have also been a catalyst for those already struggling with mental illness. For people who may have been at a higher risk of developing a mental illness, being separated from family, loved ones, and social interactions can be especially hard to cope with.
For those who may have been struggling with mental illness pre-pandemic, quarantine may have accelerated their symptoms, which can have serious consequences if left untreated.
Understanding the signs of quarantine depression can help prevent your depression from becoming severe. Once you understand the symptoms of your depression, you can start to look for treatment methods that work for you.
Symptoms of COVID Depression
Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many people with quarantine depression will experience similar symptoms to those with major depressive disorder or other common types of depression.
The important distinction between depression due to isolation and other types of depression is the cause. If you notice that your symptoms of depression may have coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be living with quarantine depression. This is especially likely if your depression centers on feelings of isolation or loneliness.
Below are some common symptoms of quarantine depression to look out for:
- Feelings of sadness, loneliness, or hopelessness
- Anger or irritability
- Withdrawal or lack of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Avoiding social scenarios
- Avoiding talking to friends or family
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Weight loss or gain
Substance Abuse and Quarantine Depression
Dealing with quarantine can be difficult. Many people struggling with quarantine depression turn to substance use to cope with their symptoms. In June of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 13% of adults who had depression started or increased substance use. The study also found that nearly 11% of the same group reported they had seriously considered suicide in the previous 30 days.
When substance abuse develops alongside mental illness, like quarantine depression, it is referred to as a co-occurring disorder. This is common in people who are struggling with mental illness, as the effects of drugs or alcohol can provide temporary relief from their symptoms. Co-occurring disorders can be especially difficult to treat, as the two feed into one another, which can worsen both your depression and your addiction.
It’s important to understand the signs of quarantine depression and to be aware of potential substance abuse that may accompany it. Oftentimes, specialized treatment is needed for those struggling with co-occurring substance abuse and depression.
Where to Get Help for Quarantine Depression in Ohio
If your quarantine depression has become too much to handle, or if you have developed a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, Georgetown Behavioral Hospital is here to help. Our treatment staff at our mental health facility, located near Cincinnati, Ohio, has proudly served the Georgetown community for years, and our doors have always been open to those in need.
At Georgetown, we understand that COVID depression is frequently accompanied by substance abuse, which is why we specialize in inpatient depression treatment for adults, as well as our dual diagnosis program. During this program, we can effectively address substance abuse that coincides with mental illness. In doing so, we can accommodate each individual’s unique circumstances and their path to mental wellness.
We are committed to giving you the tools to overcome quarantine depression. Loss of human contact is a real issue, and our welcoming, respectful recovery community is here to give you a place to focus on repairing your mental health.
If you or a loved one is struggling with quarantine depression, the time to get help is now. Whether you’re just now showing symptoms, or you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, Georgetown Behavioral Hospital is here for you. Call us today at 937-483-4930 to speak with one of our admissions staff, or fill out our confidential online contact form. No one has to struggle with mental illness alone. Together, we can start you on a path to recovery and help you live a happier, healthier life.