The COVID-19 pandemic shook the lives of millions of people throughout the globe. Here in America, many people are still reeling from the shock of shut-downs, even as the country begins to work its way back toward a sense of normalcy. This transition from masks, social distancing, and complete isolation back to a pre-COVID routine can bring a lot of mental health distress to people. In these cases, this is called COVID anxiety.
Today, we’ll examine the ins and outs of COVID anxiety, starting with what it is and its main symptoms, which can often mimic the deadly virus itself. From there, you will be able to learn if you are struggling with COVID anxiety so that you can treat the symptoms before they lead to more severe consequences.
What Is COVID Anxiety?
COVID anxiety specifically refers to the type of anxiety that many people now experience as a direct result from the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, people have started experiencing more anxiety symptoms as a result of COVID than before the pandemic. But why is this? Well, there are a few different reasons why people might have anxiety surrounding the coronavirus. For starters, many people are experiencing fears of going out in public again now that many states have lifted the tight stay-at-home restrictions.
If you have COVID anxiety, you might find yourself thinking, “What if I catch the virus? Am I safe?” While staying up-to-date on recommendations from top experts in the world on how to keep yourself safe (getting vaccinated, washing your hands thoroughly, keeping distance from those who are sick, etc.) can be reassuring, it doesn’t always ease the COVID anxiety. This can disrupt your daily responsibilities as well as your ability to be social, which can then lead to more mental health distress.
Another aspect of COVID-19 that stirs up many worries in people has to do with the vaccine. Regardless of your vaccination status, having COVID vaccine anxiety can leave you feeling unwell. Then, when you feel unwell, you might not be sure whether or not you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or symptoms of COVID itself.
Unfortunately, people who struggle with anxiety or other mental health disorders are more likely to turn to addictive substances as a way to “deal” with their emotional discomfort. Though these substances might numb the pain temporarily, they only lead to more harm.
In reality, using drugs and alcohol can actually lead to more anxiety and mental health distress. This is especially true in cases of addiction. So when these issues develop, it’s important to seek professional addiction treatment. At the Vance Johnson Recovery Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, we provide counseling for co-occurring disorders to help address the root causes of addiction and lead to comprehensive, restorative healing.
Coronavirus Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety symptoms can be both physical and emotional. The feeling of anxiety typically comes with uneasiness, being on edge, or having a fight or flight response. Anxiety disorders can make these feelings much more intense. Alongside of these symptoms, anxiety can present physically with things like:
- Stomach aches or nausea
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always recommends keeping an eye on those tell-tale symptoms of COVID, including fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath. But sometimes, as the list above shows, these symptoms can be caused by anxiety or other mental health conditions. When this happens, it can be extremely challenging to tell the difference between chest pain from anxiety or COVID.
Some of the warning signs that you might be going through mental health struggles when you have these symptoms rather than COVID include:
- Symptoms come and go
- Symptoms are triggered by specific emotions, thoughts, or situations
- You already struggle with anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition
- Being in perfect health otherwise
- Using drugs or alcohol to “deal” with the symptoms
The best thing to do if you have any of the symptoms of COVID anxiety would be to contact a team of trusted medical experts. This is particularly important if you are also struggling with a substance use disorder. With the right kind of support, you can manage your COVID anxiety and recover from your substance use disorder to begin to live life feeling happy, healthy, and safe once again.
Treatment for COVID Anxiety and Addiction
Treatment for COVID anxiety and addiction starts with addiction treatment at a trusted recovery center. Throughout treatment, you will have the opportunity to receive personalized therapy as well as work with others in a safe, sober environment to truly begin building a network of support.
In some cases, treatment begins with the detoxification process. This is useful if you are coming into treatment with a physical and emotional dependency to drugs or alcohol. Going through withdrawal can be frightening and bring up even more feelings of anxiety. Luckily, being in a supervised detox program will keep you safe so that you can stay on track to the next steps in recovery.
From there, your treatment plan might include things like one-on-one counseling, group sessions, 12-step programming, family education, and, most importantly, stress management skills. Addiction caused by COVID anxiety is not something that just goes away overnight. So, instead of just treating your COVID anxiety, you will also learn useful tips on how to manage anxiety without leaning on drugs or alcohol.
Control COVID Anxiety in Las Vegas, Nevada
All of these treatment options and more are available at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, our addiction recovery center that is dedicated to helping you through your substance use struggles and mental health challenges. We are also committed to offering safe care in accordance with CDC and state guidelines.
For more information on how you can combat COVID anxiety and addiction today, give us a call at 888-828-2623 or submit your questions through our confidential contact form. Here, you can leave your worries at our doorstep knowing that you will have access to the best care possible.
Located in dynamic Las Vegas, Nevada, the Vance Johnson Recovery Center (VJRC) a 44-bed facility is run by a skilled multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral health professionals that includes nurses, counselors, and doctors, along with complementary and alternative medicine specialists to provide our clients with a transformational experience that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Our approach is holistic and grounded in research and evidenced-based best practices that help people develop the awareness and skills required to achieve and sustain recovery.