Mental health experts warn social distancing does not mean complete isolation


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Coronavirus cases are expected to peak within the next few weeks and according to DHEC models suggested that South Carolina could see a spike in deaths in early May.

Officials say the next two weeks are crucial in the effort towards flattening the curve of the coronavirus.

Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Monday urging people to stay inside unless visiting family, going to work, or essential shopping.

For some people, social distaning and possible isolation that comes with being quarantined with COVID-19 can have a negative affect on their mental health.

According to the CDC older adults and people with disabilities are at a higher risk for having mental health concerns, such as depression or even addiction.

Experts urge people who are experiencing signs or symptoms of mental health disorders to seek help immediately.

Feelings of fear or uncertainty are normal during a potentially traumatic event such as a pandemic.

“Almost any emotion that people are having in response to this event is normal, because its a normal reaction to an abnormal situation,” Roger said.

According to Roger Williams, Executive Director at Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center there are a few things you can do to combat these feelings of fear such as exercise or talking with loved ones.

“I think what’s important is that people don’t lose contact with other people, whether it be with family, friends or with your social group whether you go on Zoom or a phone call, it’s important to keep those contacts,” Roger said.

Uncertainty can bring other feelings such as stress and anxiety, but according to the CDC there are a few ways to deal with it:

  • Take time to disconnect from COVID-19 related information, set a schedule to consume
  • Exercise, walk or run outside
  • Talk to friends and family
  • Visit a professional for help
  • Find a hobby

If you or anybody you know are having thoughts of self harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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