Dealing with COVID Anxiety
And welcome to this week's episode of Psych Central. PODCAST. I'm your host gave Howard and calling into the show today we have. Dr, just lean shot wall. She is the chief medical officer and Director of Mood Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson, a premier residential, behavioral, Health Treatment Centre Dr Chow while welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. I'm delighted to be here. We are super excited to have you here today because you're also an anxiety expert and many people who aren't used to feeling the effects of anxiety are because of covid. So I WANNA start with are you seeing people that never had anxiety? And stress issues before suddenly developing anxiety disorders because of the global pandemic. I am noticing that there are a lot of people who noticed anxiety type symptoms and since they've never really experienced them before they're really taken aback and they don't really know what's going on and so I feel like one of our big duties at this time is to help people become more aware because I think once you can name the beast benefits a lot easier to tame the beast and I think a lot of individuals will have a hard time if they don't know what to call it or what to do with it. The psych central podcast has been on the air for almost five years psych central dot Com has been around for twenty five years. So we are well versed in mental health advocacy. And for the most part, it's always sort of been in its own little corner. There's the people that have a mental health issue or a mental illness, and they understand it. There's people who developed one or have a loved one who develops a mental health issue or mental illness, and they're searching for information, but by and large the majority of the population. Was Not discussing this openly we've seen that changed dramatically in the last six months where suddenly it's sort of mainstream news about how adult that never had any mental health issues before are suddenly a suffering from the symptoms of depression anxiety stress and on and on and on. It's a lot of people talk about anxiety like it's a pathological thing. I really try to. Explain to people how anxiety is normal. You have to have the neurobiological fear response to see safe as a human being like you are going to the Grand Canyon and walking over the skywalk. The fact that we don't just climb over the rail and try to jump down is because we do have a biological response to anything that's not within the normal human experience or. Scope if you think about having a snake your chair, you want to have an anxiety response so that you can quickly panic and run and what will happen. If you don't have that fear responses, you will die because the snake will bite you or you'll have some pretty negative consequences of that. How can you not having society when you're being told all day on the? News that you need to take all these extra precautions to just be safe to not fall sake to make sure your loved ones don't die. That is something that just normally will cause some degree of anxiety the difference between that type of anxiety and what can be called a DSM anxiety disorder ends up being that it becomes overwhelming to the point that you can't function. And what we start to see people who may have had a higher level of anxiety before were being able to do things to help themselves like going to the gym to work out or going for a run outside or spending time with loved ones all people they're coping skills have been taken away, and that is where you start seeing that they now fall into more that clinical anxiety. Disorder category if you look at most mental health conditions, they are on a spectrum and it just really depends on how far along the spectrum you are. Today could be that today it's a disorder, but a week ago or two weeks ago wasn't quite meeting the criteria. One of the themes that runs through the sake central podcast we try to explain that mental health and physical health actually. Are. They have a lot in common meaning most people have good physical health. Most of the time you can still get a cold. You can still get injured and that's a very temporary problem but you can also have, for example, diabetes, which is severe and persistent and lifelong mental health is the same way I. Think a lot of people think that you either have good mental health or. You're mentally ill and that there's nothing in between do you believe that because of the pandemic people are starting to realize that everybody has mental health and that you can have the equivalent of of a cold which in in this case is stress and anxiety or panic do you think this is helping to educate people that we all have mental health and anything can trigger bad mental health. I think reading a lot more content about that in very popular channels, Navy your podcast, or me this our world. But other people for whom this is not their world. We are seeing them talk more about mental and in my own World I try not to talk about somebody having just mental illness I think about mental health on a continuum. You can do things every day to improve your mental health and you can do things every day that may not really be serving well, the kind of food you e the places that you go to the people you spend time with each of those things can help build up that mental hell.