Coronavirus Social Distancing is a Hotbed for Relapse and Addiction
COVID-19, or coronavirus. It is impossible not to have heard of it by now no matter where you live. This respiratory illness has been declared a global pandemic and as such, countries have taken action to limit the exposure, spread, and burden this virus is placing on the healthcare systems and economy. While there is a near unlimited stream of content coming out about the virus and all the facets of life it is impacting. We feel that there is one thing that is not being discussed enough, which is how it will impact addiction.
Mental Health Issues Will Rise During Quarantine
Isolation is a tactic that many prisons will use to wear down prisoners and punish them for misbehaving. It’s clear that human beings are social creatures, and while socializing itself has many pitfalls, it also is one of the most integral parts of living a good life.
What do you suppose happens when there is an external mandate that we sequester ourselves inside for potentially months on end with limited social interaction and severely diminished access to our hobbies and the outside world?
You guessed it, a spike in mental health issues such as severe anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and otherwise negative thought patterns. It’s only natural to have the blues while under these less than ideal conditions. Compound that with the health worries about the virus, the fear mongering of the media, and the stranglehold it’s placing on the economy—in which many people have already been laid off or are on reduced income, and you have a recipe for a mental health crisis.
There are many instances in history where a nation falls upon hard times, seldom are they of the nature in which you cannot even leave your home or feel like a part of society still.
Coronavirus Quarantine Will Affect Relapse Rates
It may be presumptuous, but we think it is a given. It is important to acknowledge this so people who are in active recovery can do all that they can to remain vigilant and not succumb to everyday stresses that will be a result of this quarantine or social distancing.
Stress is the number one relapse trigger for anyone, it just becomes more complicated when you consider that people are stressed by different things. However, difficulty in dealing with negative emotions can be the source of many addiction compulsions. When you’re suddenly stripped of most face-to-face contact, support groups, access to the outside world, it can be easy to just stay at home and simmer in your thoughts which will undoubtedly lead to a more depressed state of mind.
There are a bevy of studies which explore and validate the relationship between rumination and depression/depressive thoughts. While reflecting on choices and things that have happened to you can have positive effects on processing feelings, too much of something is often a bad thing. Too much rumination, in this case, is likely to cause one to obsess over negative thoughts and become hostage to negative thought patterns.
Best Interventionist in Virginia
Not just in these difficult times, in all difficult times, Recovery Care Partner is here to help you. The COVID-19 epidemic is a stress to our community and nation in more ways than one. Many local support groups are opting to hold meetings and usual group work through online means. Be sure to get in touch with local addiction support groups so that you can continue doing good work during this difficult time.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or are afraid of relapse as a result of this sudden shift in atmosphere, do not hesitate to reach out to us here.