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Depression and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Need to Know

The Leaders in TMS Gaithersburg Discuss the Increase in Mental Health Concerns Amidst COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented times to people in the United States and across the globe. As we as a society take precautions and various measures to ensure that we stay safe during these times, we’re simultaneously witnessing the potential for another major issue in the healthcare system: an influx of people in need of mental health care.

At Psych Associates of Maryland—the leaders in TMS Gaithersburg—we know that these times are challenging for many of our patients and for people who have never struggled with their mental health before. That’s why we’re here to discuss the connection between depression and COVID-19. Here we’ll touch on why mental health concerns could be on the rise, who is at risk, and what treatment options you have.

Depression & Pandemic: Why are they connected?

The Leaders in TMS Gaithersburg Discuss the Rise in Mental Health Concerns

TMS Gaithersburg

Whether we like it or not, the world is changing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we work to establish a new normal, the leaders in TMS Gaithersburg note a rise in people citing COVID-19 stress as a source of mental health concerns.

This doesn’t come as a major surprise. Think about the stresses of everyday life that are heightened; every time we leave our homes, we are risking coming into contact with the virus, many people have lost their jobs and are struggling financially, people are unable to take part in the activities that relieved them of their daily stress, and we are surrounded by a 24-hour newsreel discussing the dire impact of the disorder.

This can be a lot to take in for many people, causing an increase in stress. These stress levels can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety that exacerbate these feelings and make it difficult to function through trying times.

We’re not the only people concerned about mental health during this pandemic. According to the CDC, symptoms of stress and mental health concerns during the pandemic can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

These symptoms are not strictly environmental, either. High levels of stress can create physical changes in the brain. These physical and chemical changes are often signs of a mental health disorder— in this case, depression, anxiety, or for some front-line workers: post-traumatic stress disorder.

Who is at Risk for Mental Health Issues as a Result of COVID-19?

An Increased Focus on Individuals with Pre-existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions

During a global pandemic, we’re all in this together. Major life changes, job loss, and more time spent at home can increase stress levels for nearly everyone. Because of this, it’s not surprising if people feel like they need support or are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety during the pandemic.

While nearly everyone is at risk for mental health issues during the outbreak, individuals with pre-existing conditions or in other direct positions of response could have a higher risk. These individuals include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Children and teens who may not have experienced similar levels of stress before
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use. Not only can the comorbidity with another disorder increase the risk for depression during COVID-19, but it can make both disorders more difficult to treat.

Treatment Options from the Leaders in TMS Gaithersburg

TMS, Medication, and More for Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Treatment

Increased stress and concern about mental health issues during these times is are expected. That’s why Psych Associates of Maryland—the leaders in TMS Gaithersburg—have established an action plan designed to help people in need of support. Some treatment options include.

  • Telehealth visits: Psych Associates of Maryland has expanded the ability to cater to patients’ needs through telehealth visits, or visits completed remotely using a web-enabled camera. Over these visits, we can help devise a treatment plan, diagnose your issue, and recommend medication that could help relieve your symptoms.
  • Teletherapy visits: Oftentimes a provider will recommend teletherapy in combination with medication. As counseling completed while abiding by social distancing guidelines, teletherapy can help by talking through and developing strategies for managing the stress caused by the pandemic.
  • TMS Therapy: While not a great choice for abiding by social distancing guidelines, people with frequent flare-ups of depression should consider TMS therapy. This non-invasive in-office treatment is FDA-approved and can get rid of depression symptoms once and for all in many patients.


If you’re looking for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, get in touch with Psych Associates of Maryland today to schedule a telehealth appointment—most appointments can be set within 72 hours.


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