HOW CAN WE LIFT OUR SPIRITS DURING COVID 19?

The last few months of blogs have focused on the COVID 19 pandemic: how to cope; how to help our kids cope; dealing with grief; dealing with psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence; risks of losing insurance coverage for telehealth; strengthening our immune system; maintaining exercise. 

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CAN YOU CREATE A BALANCED LIFE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

It is difficult to develop a balanced life even in the best of times.  For some, it means that something is always being overlooked while other needs are being addressed.  All of these endeavors require the ability to recognize and prioritize your goals, to build the routines that speak to your needs, boundaries you develop to preserve your habits and the ability to transition from one activity to another.    

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COVID 19 is a MENTAL  HEALTH CRISIS TOO:  DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, SUICIDE RISK, SUBSTANCE ABUSE

COVID 19 is a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS TOO. Two-plus months into sheltering at home due to the COVID 19 crisis, and beginning to re-open our economy, we are in the midst of another kind of health crisis.  This one has to do with psychological health and well-being. 

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AMERICANS ARE LIVING SHORTER LIVES

Drug overdoses, suicides, and also diseases involving internal organs have caused an increase in middle-aged deaths.  So much so that the life expectancy in the US has actually declined since 2014 after increasing for the previous 60 years.  The largest increase in deaths was in New England and the Ohio Valley. (Ken Pope:  US Life Expectancy Down in Recent Years After Increasing for Decades). 

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Is Counseling a Part of Good Health Care?

“Fifty percent of the patients seeing me for cardiac care are really dealing with psychological issues.”  So said a cardiac physician in an informal conversation recently.  “So, I quiet myself, listen quite a bit, and then watch for an opportunity to counsel the patient about his anxiety, depression, etc.”  This comment was made about patients receiving care after a procedure had been completed.

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FIGHTING DEPRESSION THE NATURAL WAY

Tom sat down for his first hour after his initial evaluation.  I asked him, “How are you doing today?”ffffff

Tom responded slowly, “That’s a good question.  I know that we met last week and I’m beginning to understand some of the feelings I’ve had for a really long time.  I also feel that it will take quite a few hours for us to settle my particular issues.  In the meantime, I do feel depressed some of the time. I don’t want to take any medication. I can’t afford it because I don’t have insurance and I can’t handle the frequent side effect of weight gain.  What can I do to feel less depressed while we’re doing this work?  I used to drink alcohol but I don’t want to do that anymore either.”

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