Michigan Association of Health Plans

ASK THE EXPERT: Caring for your mental health during the pandemic

According to a study released this month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 27% more adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic in 2020 compared to 2019.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, with Bon Secours St, Francis Health, 7 News’ Taylor Murray spoke with a psychiatrist who shares tips on caring for your mental health during the ongoing pandemic.

Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed, or powerless is common during an infectious disease outbreak such as Covid-19.

“We have seen an increased demand for mental health services during the pandemic.”

Psychiatrist Dr. Carson Felkel says even if you aren’t at high risk of getting sick, feelings of distress and anxiety can still occur from the stressors associated with the pandemic.

“From job insecurity, relationships, loneliness.”

He says if you aren’t feeling like yourself, it’s important to reach out for help.

“If you feel like it’s been two or three weeks and you’re just in this deep dark hole… that’s when you need to talk to your primary care provider.”

Your primary care provider can refer you to the right specialist to meet your needs.

“Sometimes that can be a licensed professional counselor or a social worker trained in clinical psychology and therapy. I’m a psychiatrist, which means that I can do therapy and prescribe medications for depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.”

This article originally appeared in WSPA 7 News, read more here.

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