At Hope By The Sea, we understand that everyone in the recovery community faces enormous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This public health crisis has put everyone on high alert, which can be detrimental to those with a history of addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. Still, we believe that it’s possible to get through this by working together to safeguard everyone’s health and programs of recovery.
You may have heard that the United States now has more cases of coronavirus than anywhere else in the world, including China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated. Even Italy, with the highest death toll (9,134), has fewer confirmed cases than America.
Public health officials are fearful that the U.S. will see the most significant number of coronavirus-related fatalities than any other country. The pace at which the virus is spreading is increasing rapidly, with exponentially more new cases each day. Every state is taking steps to combat this most severe crisis.
As of today, 97,226 Americans have the coronavirus, and 1,478 people have died across the country. In California, the governor’s team of experts project that more than half the state could contract coronavirus in the next eight weeks. In the letter to The White House, Governor Gavin Newsom relayed the projections:
“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period.”
Hopefully, the above does not come to fruition, and everyone does their part to prevent the spread of the disease. Please adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines in protecting your health and safety.
Coping with Mental Illness During a Pandemic
How does one avoid symptoms of anxiety and depression when millions of people are at risk? For those with pre-existing mental health conditions like anxiety disorders, it will not be easy. Many people in addiction recovery also struggle with anxiety, and significant life changes can amplify their symptoms and potentially trigger a relapse.
Naturally, a pandemic presents significant challenges to people who battle symptoms of anxiety. Moreover, not being able to access one’s normal channels of support compounds the issue. As we mentioned last week, many 12 Step groups are no longer meeting in person. One week later, that is an even bigger reality.
The internet and the use of video conferencing have proven instrumental in keeping men and women in recovery afloat during these trying times. If you need information on accessing digital meetings, then please click here.
It’s essential to let your peers and sponsor know the emotions that you are dealing with, so you can get support. You are not alone in this; we are all dealing with this crisis together.
Dr. Bruce Schwartz, president of the American Psychiatric Association, has some advice for those dealing with heightened symptoms of anxiety, the Associated Press reports. He suggests limiting the amount of time spent watching the news.
Dr. Schwartz also recommends keeping busy while you are in self-quarantine. Engage in projects, even if it’s as basic as cleaning closets. He says to get outdoors and walk—all sound advice for people dealing with both addiction and anxiety even during regular times. Staying occupied will help you keep your mind from entertaining negative thoughts.
Addiction Recovery in Southern California
Despite the pandemic, Hope By The Sea continues to help people begin programs of recovery. Our evidence-based treatment center is following the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure the safety of every client. If you need assistance with addiction or co-occurring mental illness, then please contact us today.