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man having a meal

What Is the Recommended Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa?

Nine percent of the global population suffer from eating disorders. The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) and Deloitte Access Economics estimates that in the United States alone, 28.8 million will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime.

The American Addition Centers adds that 1.5 percent of females and 0.5 percent of males in the country have suffered from bulimia.

In Westport, we’ve administered eating disorder treatments to many patients over the years. We understand the prevalence of these disorders, especially bulimia nervosa.

Knowing the struggles of the people who suffer from this disorder, as well as the family or friends of people who do, we’re presenting this overview of the commonly used therapy methods to treat bulimia nervosa.

Recommended Treatments for Bulimia Recovery

Therapists and clinicians who are attending to patients with binge-eating disorders can use different approaches in treating bulimia nervosa.

woman eating out

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with nutritional counseling

Harvard Medical School recommends a treatment program that uses nutritional counseling and psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.

People with bulimia are trapped in a vicious cycle of binge-eating and purging. In their desire to get rid of perceived excess calories, they use laxatives or physically induce vomiting. There is also a subtype of bulimia where patients do not force themselves to vomit, but will exercise to the point of over-exhaustion or stop eating for one or more days.

What follows is ravenous hunger, which patients subdue by binge-eating in a matter of hours. Then the cycle repeats.

All of these take a toll on the physical and mental health of the patient, hence the need for both nutritional counseling and psychotherapy. This approach can heal the body as the patient is taught to acknowledge and change their distorted thoughts about body image. Healthy habits will help break the cycle of bingeing and compensation, while CBT addresses the cause of the patient’s compulsive behavior.

  1. Medication

Studies show that prescribing medication, together with other methods like CBT and interpersonal or family-based therapy, works best for treating bulimia nervosa.

The only drug approved by FDA for treatment of bulimia nervosa is Prozac. However, clinicians may also prescribe anti-depressant medicine like Zoloft (sertraline) and Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride).

Bulimia nervosa patients may have several prescriptions to address different symptoms. This happens when they experience comorbidities like anxiety, stress, depression, and substance abuse.

  1. In-patient treatment

This approach is ideal for patients whose disorder is so severe that they need constant supervision; for patients who:

  • live with people who enable their compulsions instead of helping them recover
  • need distance from people, things, and events that affect their self-esteem
  • thrive in a recovery facility’s environment
  1. Out-patient treatment

Not all patients respond positively to being admitted to binge-eating disorder treatment centers. Those who regress in these facilities will respond better to an out-patient program. This method encourages family involvement and support, which is very helpful to patients. They are also less likely to feel caged or restricted, and that sense of freedom and control can contribute to their recovery.

We can give you more information about these treatment options at The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. If you or someone you know would like to know needs help to recover from bulimia, our doors and phone lines are open for you.

Start the road to recovery here.

child eating an apple

ARFID: What Parents Should Know About this Eating Disorder

Many parents struggle to get their toddlers to eat the right kinds of food and ensure that they get the complete nourishment they need to grow strong and healthy. Pediatricians consider picky eating as a normal part of a child’s development, but they also acknowledge that it can lead to complications like vitamin deficiencies.

Children typically outgrow picky eating as they grow older, but if they don’t, they might be experiencing something Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

As a private group practice offering treatment programs for eating disorder patients in Westport, we can show you the difference between picky eating and ARFID (previously called Selective Eating Disorder or SED). Here’s what you, as parents, need to know about this disorder and how it can affect your child.

Picky Eating vs. ARFID: What’s the Difference?

The first thing you need to know is how to determine if your child is simply a picky eater or already afflicted with SED. This is necessary because if your child has the latter, you may need professional help and seek selective eating disorder treatment for your child.

Here are some points where picky eaters and children with SED differ:

  • Fussy eaters eventually grow out of this behavior while SED patients do not.
  • A key difference between the two is that picky eaters are still relatively healthy and can hit and maintain the ideal body weight of their age group despite eating only a few kinds of food. Children with ARFID, on the other hand, experience significant weight loss and are likely below their ideal weight range. They definitely need nutritional supplements and, in worst-case scenarios, they need feeding tubes to meet their daily caloric needs.
  • A child’s attitude towards food can also be a symptom. Picky eaters are selective with their food because they don’t like what certain kinds of food look, smell, or taste like. In contrast, kids diagnosed with ARFID have a very strong aversion to food (hence ARFID is also described by some as “food neophobia”) coupled with an almost exclusive preference for a very narrow selection of food. Some children cannot even stand to have food that they don’t like within their sight or in the same room as them. Additionally, picky children are interested in food. They often feel hungry and enjoy eating their preferences. Kids with ARFID, however, have very little interest in food and eating in general.
  • Children who develop ARFID may have a great fear of vomiting or choking, either because they experienced it previously or saw someone else do it. They become very anxious about vomiting that their immediate physical response is to restrict their eating. Typical picky eaters have no such fears about food or vomiting.

family having breakfast

Diagnosis and Treatment

The symptoms above for picky eating and ARFID may seem like polar opposites and easy to distinguish, but there are many cases when they also overlap. It’s challenging distinguishing between the two without professional help, which is why it’s important to get an official diagnosis from a qualified psychologist.

Treatment for ARFID is usually a combination of medications, nutrition therapy, family-aided therapy, behavioral intervention, and psychotherapy. Home treatment for this selective disorder is possible with guidance from a professional team.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health can give the guidance and treatment that families and children with ARFID need. We are a private group practice of psychotherapists and clinicians dedicated to providing individualized mental health services in Westport and other nearby cities in Connecticut.

Contact us today to request an appointment.

woman with eating disorder

Eating Disorders: Major Types and Symptoms

In the United States alone, approximately 10 million men and 20 million women will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions that are characterized by unhealthy eating habits such as food binges or purges. They often begin with an obsession with food, body shape, or weight. Eating disorders can affect one’s mental and physical health and even lead to death in severe cases.

Eating disorders are treated with a combination of medical care and psychological intervention such as dialectical behavior therapy. Treatments and symptoms may vary, depending on the type of eating disorder.

Below are common types of eating disorders:

Anorexia

People with Anorexia nervosa consider themselves overweight, even if they’re dangerously underweight. They resort to persistent behaviors such as binge eating and excessive physical activity in order to lose weight.

Those with anorexia constantly track their calorie intake and follow restricted eating patterns. They are unwilling to maintain a healthy weight and often disguise their appearance and eating habits.

Over time people with anorexia may experience:

  • Abnormal blood counts
  • Bluish discoloration of the fingers
  • Dehydration
  • Dry or yellowish skin
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Thinning or falling hair
  • Insomnia
  • Intolerance of cold
  • Irregularity or absence of menstruation

Bulimia

eating disorder

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by eating large amounts of food and then getting rid of the calories via self-induced vomiting, excessive physical activity, or misuse of laxatives or diet pills.

After a binge episode, individuals may experience gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Repeated bingeing episodes may result in:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic stomach discomfort
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric dilation and gastric perforation
  • Heartburn
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low energy, sleepiness, and sluggishness

Pica

Pica is a condition that involves consuming nonfood items such as soil, soap, chalk, sand, paper, cloth, hair, pebbles, or cornstarch.

Pica typically occurs in children, pregnant women, and individuals with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Depending on the items consumed, pica may even result in loss of life.

Complications associated with pica include:

  • Blockages in the digestive tract
  • Constipation
  • Gut injuries
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Lead poisoning
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Rumination syndrome

Rumination disorder is a behavioral condition in which a person repeatedly and unintentionally regurgitates partially or undigested food digested food from the stomach. Then rechews it and either spits or swallows it again.

Since the food has yet to be digested, it is non-acidic and tastes normal. Rumination usually happens after every meal. The condition is typically observed in individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Rumination syndrome can cause:

  • Bad breath
  • Dental erosion
  • Malnutrition
  • Social isolation

Begin your healing at CCBH

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help. There are many treatment options for you.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy provides a safe and supportive space for individuals dealing with eating disorders. By engaging in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), people can learn how to effectively regulate behaviors and emotions to improve quality of life.

Call us at 1-888-745-3372 to schedule an appointment.

woman looking out the window wearing face mask

Ways to Fight Loneliness During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and social distancing rules continue, many people may observe changes in their mood, motivation, health habits, and relationships with others. If you or a loved one is experiencing detrimental feelings of loneliness, the following tips may help:

Get professional help

COVID-19 and its effects can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression. Fear and worry about your health and financial situation can worsen your state of mental health and cause impairments in work and social functioning.

A combination of cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT) and antidepressant medication can help  you manage feelings of stress and fear. CBT is a form of evidence-based treatment used to ease depression anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. It focuses on challenging and altering unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors.

CBT is facilitated by a licensed mental health professional. Sessions are structured and time-limited. They help individuals analyze recent mood states, learn and practice coping skills for specific issues, and improve emotional regulation.

Stay active

Physical and mental health are directly intertwined, which means spending weeks without getting any exercise can negatively affect one’s ability to cope mentally.

Regular physical activity not only protects you from diseases, but also triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine. These brain chemicals help boost your mood and overall sense of well-being. They also help combat symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite and unhealthy sleep cycles.

You may be  finding it harder to exercise under strict lockdown rules, but there are still various ways to stay active. You can practice  Tai Chi, yoga, and cardio workouts by following YouTube videos. If you have space available, create a home gym where you can work out freely and store your equipment. Make the most of what’s around you such as water bottles, resistance bands, or your bodyweight to perform resistance exercises. Perform push-ups against the wall, floor, coffee table, and kitchen counter. You can also try some chair-based exercises to raise your heart rate a little.

woman laying down while taking video call

Stay connected

One of the best things you can do to fight loneliness is to connect with others in non-traditional ways. While you may be unable to visit family and friends in person, try to stay in touch via Skype, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger. For many, staying connected with loved ones, virtually or otherwise, is the most effective way to combat feelings of loneliness.

Do more things you enjoy

Spending time on enjoyable activities will help occupy your mind and prevent you from dwelling on feelings of loneliness.

Listen to the radio show or podcast you’ve always wanted to listen to but never had the time. Try picking up a book again or listen to audiobooks, and join an online book club where you can meet new friends and be exposed to various perspectives. If you want something more relaxing, try meditation or mindfulness practices.

If you find yourself extremely lonely, afraid, and isolated during the pandemic, it is important to reach out for help. For more information about our CBT services, contact our team today.

woman touching neck

Can’t Breathe? It Might be a Sign of Anxiety Disorder

The occasional bout of anxiety is part of life. It can happen when you’re faced with an emergency or before making an important decision. While the current situation has caused feelings of worry and fear to arise more frequently, it doesn’t instantly mean you have an anxiety disorder.

Practice a little introspection to check how you are. The sooner you learn what’s happening, the easier it will be to find the appropriate remedy, whether It’s cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or medication.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists several types of anxiety disorder, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobia-related disorders. But they all share a commonality—the constant or excessive state of anxiety.

It can be debilitating, especially when it is undiagnosed. An anxiety disorder can interfere with your daily activities and affect your personal and professional relationships. In some cases, it can have physical manifestations, such as headaches and chronic fatigue.

What are the Signs of an Anxiety Disorder?

By familiarizing yourself with their differences, you can identify the signs and symptoms unique to different anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Also known as GAD, it’s often characterized by over-worrying. People with GAD feel they have no control over anything in their life. They may also feel:

  • Constant restlessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Persistent muscle tension
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Difficulty in concentrating

Panic Disorder

It is characterized by regular panic attacks. These panic attacks often don’t have a specific trigger, with the person suddenly feeling an intense bout of fear. Any of the following can happen during a panic attack:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Uncontrollable trembling
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Sudden shortness of breath

Phobia-related Anxiety Disorder

As the name suggests, this is triggered by a situation where the person faces the cause of their fear. People with this anxiety disorder experience fear that is out of proportion to the situation. They may go to great lengths to avoid facing their fear. Other signs of this disorder include:

  • Irrational worry over the chance encounter of the feared subject
  • Immediate anxiety when encountering the feared object

In recent months, mental health experts reported higher stress levels throughout the country due to the pandemic and its effects. They warned that the current situation is making people vulnerable to depression and anxiety disorders. Educating yourself on the matter can help you manage your mental health.

woman short of breath

How to Treat Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are typically treated with either therapy or medication. In some cases, both are used. Consulting a professional before choosing a treatment is a must to get a proper diagnosis and care.

We understand how confusing and difficult it is to deal with anxiety, especially when it’s your first time experiencing it. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health has a team of therapists that treat anxiety disorders. Let us help you live your life more comfortably.

To learn more about our treatments, book an appointment with us today.

person thinking

What to Expect from Your First Telehealth Counseling Session

Online counseling, telemental health, telehealth therapy — all of these refer to psychological counseling, therapy, and support provided through the Internet. Counselors and support staff deliver their services through video conferencing, voice calls, email, or instant messaging.

More people have needed these services since the coronavirus pandemic started. The uncertainty of the future, fear of getting sick, and loneliness due to mandatory social distancing and quarantine have taken their toll on everyone. People who frequent discussion boards can attest to this: there have been so many people asking for advice from strangers, airing out their frustrations and fears, and asking how to find a therapist on Reddit, for example (although some are outright getting free therapy on Reddit).

While psychological experts believe that it is indeed beneficial to talk to strangers, it’s still better to seek therapy from experienced psychologists.

person lost in his own thoughts

The New Normal of Therapy

Whether you have a therapist you’ve been talking to regularly or it’s your first time attending a one-on-one therapy session, you’re most likely going to have telehealth sessions from here onwards. The experience could take some getting used to, especially for those who are more comfortable talking with their therapists regularly, in person.

What Happens in a Telehealth Therapy Session?

Here are some of the things you must expect to prepare you for your first online counseling session.

  1. Confirmation of consent – Only the venue or medium through which the counseling session takes place changes. Theoretically, everything else stays the same. Like with face-to-face sessions, for example, we will ask telehealth patients to sign informed consent. It is an agreement that says the client understands the risks and benefits of online counseling and will participate in their treatment.
  2. Confidentiality – This is another agreement between therapists and clients to keep their conversation strictly between them. It’s not just the counselor’s responsibility but also the client’s. Hence, when you attend an online counseling session, you need to put on earphones or headphones. It’s necessary for maintaining your privacy and preventing strangers from listening-in on your session.
  3. Distance – People who used to talk to a therapist regularly before the pandemic may find online consultations very different from face-to-face meetings. You and the therapist might feel a little distant and awkward at the beginning of the session. You might feel less inclined, for example, to share what’s on your mind. As the patient, you need to overcome them because they are roadblocks to a fruitful session. The therapist will carry much of the burden, but they will only succeed if you’ll also meet them halfway.
  4. Technological Integration – We can’t speak for other counselors and how they conduct telehealth therapy, but if you sign up for online counseling at The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health, we’ll direct you to a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing platform, where the session will take place. We will also reach out before and after the session via email or text.

You can expect more from telehealth therapy sessions. We’ll be happy to discuss them with you or address whatever concerns you may have.

Don’t let the unfamiliarity of online counseling keep you from getting the therapy you need. Get in touch with The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health, and set an appointment with our therapists.

woman sitting in a corner

COVID-19 and Family Tension: How to Manage Conflict in the Household

When social distancing measures went into effect, families found themselves cooped up in their homes. Schools and childcare closed, so parents must look after their kids 24/7, on top of their household and professional duties.

The pandemic has caused significant distress for many families. Apart from the fear of contracting the coronavirus, parents are anxious about their financial and food security, among other things.

Household Concerns amid the Pandemic

Below are some concerns parents have expressed since the pandemic started:

Parents, especially of young children, need to manage the household’s emotional health. High levels of conflict in families can increase the child’s risk of developing emotional, behavioral, and social problems.

Here are some ways to minimize the tension within your family during these uncertain times:

  1. Create healthy opportunities to be apart

Being with other people can be draining, even if they’re your family. When you’re tired, you don’t have a firm grip on your emotions, leading to unwanted outbursts.

It’s normal to want some time apart. If your spouse or children wants to be alone, don’t see it as a rejection. Recognize that people need solitude to recharge and regroup. Some people may need it more than others.

You can go on a walk by yourself, meditate, work out, or take a trip to the grocery store for some alone time.

child sitting by the stairs

  1. Don’t punish your kids for expressing their emotions

Don’t get mad at your child for expressing how they feel. Let them shout or cry when they’re frustrated. It’s better to have them release their emotions instead of keeping these feelings buried inside.

Once your child has calmed down, talk to them calmly. Ask them what they’re feeling and why they did what they did. You can then suggest activities they can do the next time they feel that emotion, like counting to ten or taking three deep breaths.

This way, your child becomes familiar with the different emotions they feel, teaching them to handle uncomfortable feelings. Raising a mentally strong child isn’t about repressing emotions. Mentally strong kids recognize emotions and choose healthy ways to cope.

  1. Apologize

Our emotions sometimes get the better of us. You might say harsh words that hurt your family. And these instances are likely to increase during such a tense, stressful time.

When you catch yourself doing these things, take a deep breath, and stop. Take a few minutes to calm down, then apologize to your family. Communicate with your spouse about what you’re feeling. Make amends with your children by spending some fun, quality time with them.

If the level of tension within your household is too high for these simple methods, it’s best to seek a professional’s help. Many social services and private practices offer teletherapy services during the pandemic.

Mental Health Support Services in Connecticut

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) in Westport offers comprehensive mental health services. Our telehealth therapy services help you and your family navigate your way through emotional, behavioral, mental challenges.

Contact us via email or phone to schedule an appointment.

studying during pandemic

Taking Care of Your Mental Health as You Go Back to School

Earlier in the year, colleges and universities across the country closed campuses and dormitories to help flatten the curve. They moved classes online to avoid an educational and achievement gap. But as the new academic year begins, many schools have decided to reopen campuses and dormitories for in-person classes. This can be a source of anxiety for many, especially as the pandemic continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

The Mental Toll of the Pandemic

When news broke about the new disease, many felt the stress of its implications on “normal” life. The reasons ranged from the possibility of contraction to what’s going to happen if you do get sick. Although scientists and medical professionals around the world continue to work on a vaccine, many are still anxious about each passing day.

As campuses continue to welcome back students, many are worried about the coming months. Students can’t help but worry about their health and safety, even as colleges and universities implement new protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. The anxiousness over the situation, when coupled with the typical stressors of school life, can take a significant toll on students’ mental health.

How to Cope on Campus

The challenge many students face in these trying times is their lack of control over the situation. The following practices aim to help students going back to campus regain a sense of control over their mental health.

Understand that it’s normal not to feel “okay.”

woman in public with a mask

It’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger, and sadness over the situation. The sooner you accept these emotions, the easier it will be for you to communicate how you are feeling to others. If you’re uncomfortable talking about these emotions with family and friends, there are support services available to you. Our Westport clinic provides online counseling for anyone that needs the support of a professional during these trying times.

Maintain a morning and night routine.

A routine is helpful as it gives you a checklist of things to do every day. Create morning and night routines that are compatible with your classes and extracurricular activities. Include meals, study sessions, and time for your hobbies for a well-rounded schedule.

Take a “mental health” break when you need one.

Don’t underestimate your mental health, especially during these stressful times. Aside from taking time for yourself every day, consider taking a break from classes if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. If you are dealing with these types of emotions, it might be more difficult to concentrate in class and on your coursework. Talk to your professors and explain the situation so that they can help you.

Professional Mental Health Support Services

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health understands the struggle students are facing right now. We are here to help you cope with your stressors and triggers as you go back to school. We provide online counseling services to give you the appropriate support wherever you are.

Get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.

family conflicts

How to Manage Family Conflicts During COVID-19 Quarantine

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forced billions of people across the globe to stay at home in a concerted effort to prevent the further spread of the virus. According to an article from Forbes, staying at home is necessary for at least 20 U.S. states.

Being on quarantine for extended periods, however, can be stressful for anyone.

Family conflicts, for instance, could arise and become more frequent with everyone cooped up together. Rather than dismiss these issues as petty arguments, families should resolve these problems respectfully.

If you’re seeing frequent family quarrels, follow these three suggestions to minimize conflicts:

1. Plan a Meeting to Discuss Triggering Problems and Solutions

scolding child

Call for a family meeting to discuss — as kindly and respectful as possible — the problems and needs of each member of the family. Also, bring up potential triggers that are causing heated arguments, such as leaving the dishes unwashed or cranking up the music volume to max during work hours.

Begin the discussion by effectively describing the problem. Here’s an example:

“Since I’m doing my work in the living room, I need peace and quiet to get my stuff done quickly. But I’m having difficulty focusing on my work if you’re playing your favorite rock music on the speaker.”

After you’ve said your piece, propose a solution, such as letting your family members play music outside working hours (or use earphones to listen to music).

If you’ve identified problems that you can’t solve with a family meeting, seek additional help by scheduling an online counseling session.

2. Give Elbow Room for Each Family Member

Family members who fail to respect the personal space of others can cause heated arguments. Whether the problem is a family member using someone else’s stuff without permission or simply hanging around when the person needs their “me time,” you need to bring that up for discussion.

During your family dinner, talk about the issue directly. You could start by saying:

“Since we’ll be spending time together for several hours every day, we need to give everyone here their personal space.”

This may mean giving family members more elbow room if their emotions are running high. Alternatively, you could create a household rule on closed doors. A shut door or a door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign, for instance, is an indication for a family member give the person their alone time.

3. Perform Stress-Reducing Activities

Family members cooped up at home can take steps to minimize stress and avoid frequent and unwanted conflicts. A few activities to do include exercising to blow off steam, planting flowers in the backyard, and going through a guided meditation session.

When you need professional help during these difficult times, turn to The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. We offer telehealth therapy for individuals and families who need advice and counseling.

A major benefit of this service is that you don’t need to leave your home or drive all way to our clinic in Westport to speak with one of our psychotherapists. Remote consultation and diagnosis is done via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing software. Your online sessions will remain secure and confidential when you connect using our platform.

Arrange an appointment with our clinic today by filling out our contact form.

COVID-19 Lockdown Guide: Ways to Mind Your Mental Health

The coronavirus is an extremely infectious disease. At its onset, most states in the U.S. implemented lockdown and stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the virus, confining people to their homes.

Though some restrictions have eased, controlling the transmission of the virus remains to be the number one goal. Social distancing measures are still in place to avoid overwhelming the country’s healthcare system and many people with health issues or vulnerable family members opt to stay at home. Physical health still takes priority as hospitals try to nurse COVID-19 patients back to health.

However, the coronavirus pandemic threatens more than one’s physical well-being. Being confined to one place for a prolonged period can have negative psychological effects, including stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and even depression.

Mental Health Impact of the Pandemic

The rise of a new contagious disease is stressful. People are terrified of the possibility of contracting the virus and what can happen if they do. And they grow more anxious each day as the pandemic continues with little to no signs of progress.

Because of the lockdown, the pandemic has led to a staggering unemployment rates in the country. Millions of Americans are worried about putting food on their tables and struggling to make ends meet without a stable source of income. This worry causes increased levels of anxiety.

Apart from the disease itself, physical distancing and quarantine measures can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation, impacting mental health.

Confinement is especially difficult for those who are already struggling with pre-existing mental health conditions. The sudden change in one’s routine can cause stress for people with mental health issues.

Plus, stay-at-home orders can make it difficult for them to access activities and things they normally rely on for comfort. Some people might take a walk in the park, go shopping, hit the gym, or visit their friends to feel better. But they can’t do these things at this time.

Additionally, lockdown measures make it difficult for mental health patients to seek the medical services and medication they need.

sad woman

Taking Care of Your Mental Health during Lockdown

The World Health Organization (WHO) shares tips on protecting your mental health during the coronavirus quarantine.

First, if you have a mental health condition, make sure that you continue to take your prescribed medication and that you have a way of restocking your meds. Find out how you can keep in touch with your therapist or mental health specialist. Some private practices offer telehealth therapy services, so you can receive the support you need during these stressful times.

Stay in touch with people whom you can turn to for support if your mood or mental health declines, whether they’re your family, friends, or romantic partner.

For the general public, the WHO suggests minimizing the amount of news you consume to avoid overwhelming yourself. Get updates only at specific times of the day to keep yourself informed. Establish a daily routine. Go to bed at similar times each day and make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep. Eat healthy meals and try to sneak in some physical activity into your daily schedule.

Additionally, the WHO also suggests limiting your alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol is associated with increased risk of infections and adverse treatment outcomes.

Lastly, take note of the following emergency hotlines for when you’re in a mental health crisis:

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Also, note the hotlines of mental health support services near your location.

Mental Health Support Services in Connecticut

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) in Westport provides comprehensive, individualized mental health services. We provide telehealth therapy services so you can receive the support you need during the quarantine. Our psychotherapists are committed to helping you navigate your way through mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

Contact us via phone, email, or the online form to schedule an appointment.