Studies have shown that at times of great distress and upheaval, our brains can shut down, effectively not processing everything in front of us.
Since exploding across the planet earlier this year, many arguments could easily be made that COVID-19 has caused a definite uptick in stress, anxiety, and incidents of depression. One of the greatest unknowns of COVID-19 is a full sense of the interaction of the virus with other physical and psychological conditions as stress and depression interlace at many points.
Many people do not realize the interlocking connections between physical and mental health. It’s not just the long hours of quarantine, but the subtle way(s) in which COVID-19 combines with other pre-existing conditions to weaken patients’ psyche and energy.
Understanding stress in a pandemic
Stress can disrupt “business as usual” in our brains. Recent studies have clarified how stress saps our ability to plan and how stress changes the way certain brain cells operate. Previous studies have shown that at times of great distress and upheaval, our brains can shut down, effectively not processing everything in front of us.
How you respond to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background, your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health and emotional background, the community you live in, and many other factors. The changes that can happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone.
Beyond COVID-19: Mental health struggles
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus is causing mental health struggles all over the globe. They state, “Adapting to lifestyle changes… and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us.”
In June, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease said that beyond the normal concerns about respiratory diseases, breathing the novel coronavirus has displayed an increasing impact on people with existing mental or neurological conditions, or mental health trauma or other issues.
Not to mention that oftentimes, patients who do leave ICU and recover from their respiratory symptoms are potentially at higher risk for long-term residual neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive conditions including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
So, what are those seriously needing help to do? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommends finding resources to invest time and someone to talk to—from a safe distance. But even that may not be enough.
CBD on the rise
According to Oasis Intelligence, 5% of consumers in the pandemic are turning to CBD oil to quell anxiety and calm their fears. A recent CNN article showcased CBD’s place not only for patients but healthcare professionals as well. Dr. June Chin shared that, “Health-care workers [who] are working long shifts are finding CBD helpful for restorative sleep and on their days off using it for pain and inflammation — from being on their feet all day, [and having] low back pain and neck pain.”
Many other adults are turning to Cannabinoids like CBD during the crisis to help with feelings of overwhelm. With a high-margin of safety and little to no side effects, scientists are also finding that CBD could potentially help fight COVID-19. With CBD and marijuana sales on the rise, patients are finding relief through better sleep and a calmer head.