We're over a year into the pandemic, and we can finally see an end of sorts on the horizon.
But this year has come at a great cost to so many people and their families. Even those who have not personally been affected by the virus have been affected by the changes in our lives due to the pandemic.
For example, pandemic restrictions and stay-at-home measures, though 100% necessary and life-saving, have had a large affect on people's mental health. Many who once dealt with social anxiety may find social interaction that much more anxiety-inducing when not being constantly exposed to it.
I know this time has been really difficult for people with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, because so many of us are stuck at home in our thoughts and are struggling to physically take care of ourselves.
General anxiety over the virus and our loved ones has certainly led to burnout in so many of us, and this effect is likely particularly pronounced among those currently working in healthcare.
And then many people who have never before dealt with mental health struggles might be feeling depressed while they struggle to come to terms with the collective grief and isolation of this time.
Everyone's mental health stories during the pandemic might be different — there isn't any one "typical experience"! But however this pandemic has affected your mental health, whether or not you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, we want to hear it. Let us know what the effect has been and what has helped you cope in the comments below, or via this anonymous Google Form. You could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community article.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.