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Social Distancing Psychology: Recovery During Coronavirus

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Along with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden change in each of our lives, for some of us, social distancing psychology and effects have been unforgiving, economically, emotionally, and physically. While we all faced our own struggles, for the challenges brought by 2020 were much worse for some, it was a death sentence for others. 

Mental health issues skyrocketed in the past year, and while the focus may be on “How to help someone with depression” we might not realize people who are depressed are beginning to self-medicate and falling victim to addiction. Meanwhile, people who were already struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs were falling deeper into substance abuse and co-occurring mental disorders, like depression. 

Recovery never comes easy. There are always triggers you always need to be vigilant about; it is important to make sure you do everything possible to help people with addiction to avoid relapse. 

This article will go over some tips on how to help someone with depression, helping someone get rid of an addiction, what warning signs to look out for, and how to help a person with addiction seek treatment when they are ready. 

 

How to Help Someone with Depression

To help someone with mental illness, it is important to first properly educate yourself about the kind of mental disease, social distancing psychology or disorder they are going through. Without communicating with care and understanding, even something small you say or do could cause panic, despair, or recall a triggering memory.

woman wearing a mask looking through the window

 

Understanding Depression 

What is depression? It is often thought of as just being sad for a long time, but it isn’t that simple. The factors that contribute to depression are complex, and there is a wide range of symptoms someone with depression may experience. Discounting depression to just sadness can negatively impact someone who is depressed, so it’s important to treat people with understanding and compassion.

Sadness is a human emotion that everyone feels and is supposed to feel. Emotions are essential indicators of how we feel about our experiences. Someone is diagnosed with depression when the emotion of sadness heightens, increases, and overwhelms an individual. It is important for someone to feel supported by their loved ones when they are experiencing depression. 

People going through depression may not want to talk about it at length or even know-how, but criticisms of their symptoms can have a negative impact. Even though prolonged sadness can often lead up to depression, it is not depression.

If you are unsure if you or a loved one are depressed rather than experiencing normal sadness, there are a few indicators or symptoms that can help you differentiate and understand social distancing psychology. 

 

The nine symptoms of depressive disorder are:

  1. Excessive sadness
  2. Increase or decrease in appetite (weight loss)
  3. Insomnia or oversleeping
  4. Psychomotor agitation (constant moving of body)
  5. Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
  6. Fatigue
  7. Suicidal thoughts
  8. Feeling of worthlessness
  9. Inability to concentrate

Coping with depression is extremely common in relation to drug abuse. Many people self-medicate, or even abuse prescription medications, to try to escape from reality.  The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports that  1 out of every 3 adults who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse also suffers from depression. There are addiction treatment programs that are specifically meant to supplement the recovery process for people who suffer the comorbidity of substance use disorder and clinical depression

 

How to Help Someone with Drug Addiction

Make Sure to Educate Yourself

It is helpful to decide if there are sure signs that may signify a mental disorder if you find any potentially troubling symptoms in your loved one. Familiarizing yourself with common symptoms of social distancing psychology will allow you to understand your problems and to communicate them. Taking a course or joining a support group of people who can relate to the challenges you and your loved one are experiencing will benefit you in numerous ways and increase your knowledge about social distancing psychology.

 

It is Important to Remain Calm

Recognizing that a loved one could need support can be daunting, yet attempting to address it might make you appear disrespectful or hostile by addressing the person impulsively. Try being polite and conscious. Before acting, take time to understand your loved one’s symptoms and your relationship. Writing some notes down about how you feel and what you want to say may help you recognize and appreciate your thoughts and feelings, help you slow down while connecting to your loved one, and even help you articulate your ideas better.

 

Be Respectful and Patient

Ensure your goal is to encourage healing before talking to others about their mental health, and it is important to keep that in mind. Ask if you can assist in their healing journey, and be careful not to come off as commanding. While it is okay to encourage a person to seek help, it is not acceptable to demand it. Let them know that if they ever wish to talk in the future or need a shoulder to rely on, you’re available.

 

Listen to Your Loved One

Give the gift of finding someone who cares about their special experience to your loved one. Don’t disregard their narrative by having comparisons to the perspectives of others. You can consider a connection to your venture, but sharing your story may unnecessarily weaken their experience. 

With hotlines, books, or a list of community providers, you can be prepared. While these are excellent sources of help, it is important to take time and listen carefully before providing advice. Having others share personal aspects of their mental health is an honor. Before going on, be present and listen.

 

Support Them

One of the easiest ways to help is to ask how. Trying to be somebody’s therapist is not helpful, but you can also help. People don’t like being told what to do, but asking how you can assist empowers them to control their recovery while even letting them know that you are a source of assistance.

 

Establish Your Boundaries

It’s important to consider both your boundaries and theirs as you support your suffering loved one. You are also vulnerable to neglecting yourself and your needs in the process when attempting to help them. 

Setting certain restrictions or boundaries will help you retain your self-care as well, while it will still be motivating your loved one. It is essential to make sure that you are not working harder than they are in their healing journey. Balance is key.

 

Is Addiction a Family Disease?

Any decision one person makes affects the other members in direct and indirect ways when you are part of a family. If one family member is dealing with addiction, all members of the family dynamics may be adversely affected by the disorder by placing them in a state of increased stress and anxiety. Feelings of guilt, responsibility, confusion, anger, sadness, and more can trouble the entire family and lead to increased conflict, isolation, and dysfunction.

Man and women distanced by window

Hence it is important to seek help with detox and go for rehabilitation.

 

Helping Someone Get Rid of an Addiction

Substance Abuse has both short and long-term consequences, and currently, there is only one proven method to get rid of an addiction. That is to go through the proper channels of an addiction treatment program at a rehab facility. While Covid-19 has changed the standard of what we consider normal treatment, the addiction field has adapted and come up with innovative ways to treat drug addiction while following safety guidelines. Call one of our care coordinators to discuss precautions, and “the new normal” of social distancing psychology. 

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