MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Experts at Mayo Clinic are weighing in on how external stressors are causing compromised mental health during these challenging times. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the loneliness associated with isolation and recent political uprisings, Mayo said many Americans are struggling with their mental health now more than ever. Physicians say these stressors are a serious risk to public health, as the stress is so widespread.
Dr. Robert Bright, a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic, said, ”It’s just constantly raining this stress on us, and that is just burning us out. Under stress, we have our adrenal glands, and they excrete the adrenaline. And we get up and we rise to the occasion, and we fight the battle. But after a while, you can’t keep doing that. You can’t maintain it. You become physically and emotionally exhausted.”
A recent Boston University study found that the rate of depression has tripled in the U.S. during the pandemic. Dr. Bright said these feelings of anxiety or depression are a normal response to abnormal circumstances in life.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep yourself well. ”Get enough sleep. Make sure you’re eating well and getting good nutrition. Get exercise. Get outside and see the sunshine. Don’t crawl under the covers and withdraw. Reach out and find other people, and get support,” Bright added.
Bright stated if your anxiety or depression is significantly affecting your quality of life, you should consider seeking professional help. And don’t be afraid to reach out to other people in your life, including family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, who may share the same struggles during these challenging times.