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Forums / Anxiety / Anxiety and Covid 19

Topic: Anxiety and Covid 19

  1. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    21 April 2020

    Hi.

    I am extremely anxious about the current covid pandemic.

    Feel as though it is living in my brain but my body feels the symptoms.

    It causes me such panic and terror and all consuming

    Trying to challenge my thinking but ver hard.

    Any one else feel this. Any advice appreciated.

    Thankyou.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    I know exactly what you mean. It's hard and scary to keep up with as there are lots of reports of terrible things happening and some mixed signals from officials and scientists about what to expect or what the best thing to do is. You're definitely not alone.

    The good news is, it seems like we acted quickly enough that the virus is not out of control here in Australia and this has bought us time to ramp up our already very good healthcare system. Can I ask what symptoms you are feeling? I know how hard it can be to challenge anxious thinking, especially health anxiety amid all this.

    Unfortunately there is no easy cure for this (just like there isn't one for the virus yet), but it may help to try to limit your intake of news, go for a walk taking responsible social distancing measures, or get lost in a good book or movie. What do you like to do? Now is a great time to get into a new hobby or pick up something you've always wanted to.

    Always happy to chat and keep you company during this tough time. But I have no doubt we'll get through it :)

    Best,

    Gems

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    519 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Dear Sarahbelle,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    I would like to recommend, if you haven't already, to talk to your doctor. If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 then you can get tested to see if you have it or not. It's better to be armed with the facts, rather than worrying about 'what if'.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the number of people who are infected, percentage wise, is actually only about 0.02% of the population. And I have just now heard our PM say that two thirds of those who have had it, have already recovered. for most, it's a mild illness and recovery is good.

    But yeah, I hear you. It's hard sometimes not be worried about it. Especially if you are not armed with the facts.

    I'd like to suggest that you LIMIT the amount of news you watch to no more than 30 minutes a day, at most. Make sure you are getting some regular exercise, assuming you are well enough to do that. Make sure you are keeping in contact with your friends and family via the phone, and video calls. Sending the odd text message is not really enough. People need to hear each other's voices, and to see each others faces, so if you haven't been doing that, I suggest you call someone just to have a chat and catch up with their voice and face, to do that. And also, if you have any kind of a hobby, get into that too!

    And the next time your head wants to terrorise you with awful thoughts, tell it "thanks for sharing, but you've had your turn. Now it's MY TURN to be well, and look after myself."

    There's also a website called Mood Gym - https://moodgym.com.au/home - which you may find helpful too. "Moodgym is like an interactive self-help book which helps you to learn and practise skills which
    can help to prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety
    ."

    In the meantime, you are welcome here anytime, as much as you like. We are all in this together, and I for one am happy to help out in any way I can. Most important thing to remember is that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. We won't be socially isolating forever. This WILL pass.

    Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
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    Sophie_M avatar
    6652 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle
    Hi Sarahbelle,

    Thank you so much for joining our valued online forums community and reaching out. It's very brave and important you have done so today. You've come to the right place: this is a safe, non-judgmental space where you can give and receive support from others who have or are experiencing something similar.

    Beyond Blue has another place you might find helpful at https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/. Our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is packed full of tips and information to help you get through this time.

    Please know we're here to give you as much support, advice and conversation as you need. Feel free to check in and let us know how you're getting on whenever you are up to it.
    2 people found this helpful
  5. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Thank you so much.

    I had a bit better of a day. Was good just to write it down but did not expect so much care.

    Deep down I know the likely hood of me having the virus is minute but my head and body are working overtime.

    Your advice is sound and helpful. Nights are the hardest for me.

    I am trying meditation.

    Please take care of yourself too

    Sarah Belle

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to uncut_gems

    Thanks Gems.

    Yes we will get through this.

    My syptoms change....they can last a day 2 or 3 or a few hours.

    Like a fight between my body and mind and at the same time going into sympathy with one another.

    Will have to organise my routine and workinng at home to give me better structure.

    Hoping for a goid nuggts sleep.

    Thankyou again for your gentle care.

    Take goodcare of yourself too.

    Sarah Belle

    1 person found this helpful
  7. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    1059 posts
    21 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    You're definitely not alone! We're here for you on the forums :)

    Please keep us updated on how you go with meditation! I have recently started for my anxiety as well and I find it very useful. It is a skill that takes a lot of practice. I'm looking forward to when my anxiety doesn't take over and I am able to react differently to stressful situations.

    It sounds like you have a lot of insight and that you are motivated to try a lot of things which is great! Keep it up :)

    2 people found this helpful
  8. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    22 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarah,

    it sounds like you are just on hyper-high alert now and are extra sensitive to the changes in your body, which is totally understandable given this situation! I think you can trust yourself to know what feels "normal weird" and what is actually concerning or uncomfortable enough to need medical attention. I've also been wondering if every change I'm feeling is a symptom or not. It's likely that lots of people are going through this right now, and most will probably never know what it was because we will get better and move on.

    I also struggle with the nighttime, as I find laying in bed gives me time to be alone with my thoughts which start to race. Is this the case for you? If so, I find that reading or listening to an audiobook or podcast until I fall asleep makes things a million times easier. It's very silly but I learned about one podcast called Sleep With Me where a guy with a very dull voice reads you a story that is stimulating enough to pay attention to but boring enough to zone out and fall asleep. I use it sometimes when I'm really having a tough time.

    Hope to hear from you and see you around the forums!

    Warmly,

    Gems

  9. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    23 April 2020

    Thanks Gems,

    HaHa the boring voice one sounds good. Will have to give it a try!

    Meditation is helpful sometimes but others just when I feel myself going into it I all of a sudden "wake up".

    One of the things helping me the most at the moment is the forum because it helps me to understand the stress we are all under and that we really can be supportive of one another in a very real way and truly are not alone.

    Working at home is keeping me busy and connected so that is also a good thing...no anxiety about having to go to work each day at this time.

    Yesterday was a good day for me...today a bit shaky , comes in waves.

    I am really working on being questioning myself when thoughts come into my head of the probability and facts.

    We all just have to keep on trying to fill our own and others buckets.

    Hope you are having a good day.

    Sarah Belle

    1 person found this helpful
  10. David35
    David35 avatar
    37 posts
    23 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle
    I've got this app called White Noise on my smartphone which plays all kinds of nature noises (rain, wind, waves, etc.) plus you can download others. See if that helps for relaxing your mind.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    24 April 2020 in reply to David35

    Thankyou David,

    Just downloaded it now and will be trying it out.

    Have a happy day.

  12. Tfgirl
    Tfgirl  avatar
    2 posts
    24 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    I’m feeling extremely anxious too! I am a single mum living with my 2 kids at my elderly parents home. My father has medical concerns that are high risk. I work in childcare and haven’t been working due to previously having pneumonia. I’ve had a medical certificate till now and I can’t go back to work cuz of my concerns of my father and his health.

    I feel sick and anxious and my work doesn’t expect me staying home to keep my family safe. I’ve now gotten a new medical certificate saying I’m suffering stress and GORD. Just sent it to them and I feel sick

  13. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    24 April 2020 in reply to Tfgirl

    So sorry to hear you are feeling so anxious and have a lot of people depending on you.

    You sound very worried, but rest assure you are doing a great job with your family, after all they are your first priority....but with this comes demands on yourself. See if you can factor in some time for you to do something nice that you enjoy ....After all these years I have taken up crocheting again keeps my hands and mind busy when I sit down and am doing something productive at the same time.

    Some days are going okay for me others not so like a bit of a roller coaster but I think that is so for many many people in this tough time. People on this forum have really supported me and kept me sane and motivated.

    I feel you will also find this support.

    You have a Dr certificate and that is great as work must accept that.

    It is protection for you and your family.

    Happy to chat with you again.

    Take care.

  14. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    27 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Sarahbelle,

    so glad to hear you're managing to keep yourself busy! Tfgirl, welcome to the forums :) You've definitely come to the right place and will hopefully find lots of support here. I had a difficult couple of days on Friday and Saturday but am feeling better. As you say Sarahbelle, it's a rollercoaster. Looking forward to talking more with both of you.

    Warmly,

    Gems

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    27 April 2020

    Hi Gems,

    If I had a magic wand I would wipe all this virus away ----if only it was so easy.

    Sorry to hear you were having some not so good days. Hope you are okay today and you have been able to enjoy a little sunshine. Here for you too.

    Somedays are like that aren't they and it is hard to get the mind organised as the body kicks in and the strong feelings and all of a sudden we are in a spin.

    Being busy helps for me, working from home has been good for me too however clocking off can be hard as you are always available. Have to get better at that.

    It is so nice to have people like you who get it. So many things said by me on this forum I cannot talk to others about.

    I lost my beautiful mum in August last year. She was my sounding board - she could pick my emotions and knew just what to say or do to move me forward. I miss her sooooo much, especially at the moment.

    T girl hope you are going okay too.

    Take good care everyone.

    Sarahbelle.

  16. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    27 April 2020

    I was just wanting other view points on the covid app.

    I was thinking of downloading it however my constant alertness, anxiety and fear of the virus is stopping me.

    I am afraid to have this information at hand all the time and fearful it may cause me panic if there is ever an alert or I may become obsessed with checking it.

    Any opinions/advice welcome.

    I understand the purpose of it but not sure if I can personally go there yet.

  17. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    30 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    It's a good question that's on a lot of people's minds nowadays. I think the decision to download it is a personal one that each person will have to make based on a lot of different factors, including of course how it might affect their mental health. I haven't looked into it too much yet, but my understanding is that the main purpose is to alert you if you've been within a certain distance of someone confirmed positive for a certain amount of time (fifteen minutes I think?). That means that rather than constantly bugging you with scary updates, it should only alert you once a day to let you know it's working, or to alert you to get tested. It doesn't send you any news updates or anything like that as far as I know.

    It seems like it's meant to be a "set it and forget it" app, so if you decide you want to download it what you might do is just make a folder on your phone (you may already have one for miscellaneous/extra apps), toss it in there and forget it. If you decide to, feel free to share your experiences with it! I'm sure there are lots of people on the forums who are similarly curious.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    1059 posts
    1 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    I think you are showing a lot of insight! You were thinking about how the app may affect your behaviour and feelings.

    I think you have also brought up some very relevant thoughts about the app. It might be worth starting a thread about and seeing what others think!

    Here for you!

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    2 May 2020

    Thanks for your support everyone..

    Why are the nights so hard ? Just when I think I am turning the corner. Beginning to calm my fears put tools in place to deal with my anxiety I all of a sudden feel such a slip backwards and all the physical symptoms surface and it all kicks in again. I do my meditation and sleep for a bit then wake and that seems to be it ......another camomile tea and trying to tell my self the mantra you are safe. I almost feel selfish that I feel this way. Day time although can be tricky but I am better as I can keep busy - working from home and doing things to distract myself. I know in this current climate many people are struggling with anxiety and sleep. Posting this message gives me the courage to say what I can't say to others as I know I don't have to wear a mask for you to cover my feelings, thoughts and insecurities. Thanks for being here for me.

    Sarahbelle.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. missep123
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    1059 posts
    2 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    I am so glad that you were courageous to tell us what you can't say to others.

    I know what you mean about nights being hard. I have found myself getting increasingly anxious at nights sometimes! The first step is recognising what is happening (which it sounds like you totally did)! You also have some great coping mechanisms in place with the meditation, tea and mantra.

    I think sometimes we have to remind ourselves that although we may feel we are going 'backwards' with our progress, it's actually a really good learning opportunity and we can grow with it.

    Here for you!

  21. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    3 May 2020 in reply to missep123

    Thanks missep123

    Had another hard hard night but got myself through it. Best not just to lie in bed and ruminate as the feelings and fear get bigger for me by the second. So I got up made my tea had a wander then hopped back into bed and created my own visual meditation......I did a quick body scan then imagined I was walking down this beautiful tree lined pathway....at the end the sun could be seen and butterflies were leading the way...i followed and went into a beautiful space where it was safe and peaceful...,..in the distance I could see those I loved who are no longer here but they were fine had smiles and waved and let me know they were happy and wanted me to be too, I lay on the soft grass with the warm sun and butterflies fluttering ......This was at 3 o'clock this morning i fell fast asleep and woke at 10.........

    The mind is such a powerful thing --- This was an opportunity to give myself the time and permission to free myself of worry and anxiety and all those awful body feelings,

    I hope you were able to have a good night sleep too and that your day brings peace ans happiness.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. missep123
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    1059 posts
    3 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Sarahbelle,

    That sounds like such a beautiful meditation! You are so right, the mind is such a powerful thing. I think you are doing an amazing job.

    Another thing that I have been learning is self-compassion! I have a habit of blaming myself for the anxiety or putting pressure on myself but it's such a powerful thing to think to yourself 'You are doing a great job' or 'It's okay that you feel this way, it doesn't define you. It will go away'.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    3 May 2020 in reply to missep123

    Thank you missep 123.

    I agree it is time to be kind to ourselves. Often we can go straight to the negative.

    I am sure you are doing a great job and I will try and do the same.

    Enjoy the evening.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    11 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    Just wanted to check in and see how you were going? I'm *cautiously* optimistic about some of the good news that we've been getting here, and I imagine you're also excited about the prospect of some of these restrictions being lifted! I'm normally very, very conservative with this quarantine but yesterday I risked a short outing for a haircut (it was time lol). What about you? Would love to hear if things have improved on your end :)

    Gems

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    11 May 2020 in reply to uncut_gems
    Thanks Gems so lovely to hear from you.
    Great to hear you are being optimistic, it is so important . Good on your getting your hair cut - mine is pretty desperate at the moment - I was so scared I had the virus, felt the symptoms so I went for a test , of course it was NEGATIVE! Thank goodness.- Just heard of some restrictions changing in Victoria but after being so cautious for so long it also frightens me. I work in a school supporting kids and families - online has been challenging but very successful too with video chats etc. Worry that easing restrictions may cause further infections but we can't stay like this forever and have to trust the health advisors.
    I have become a homebody working at home and very anxious about having to go back to work - and leaving the house generally. The only outs I have been going for is taking my dog for a walks to the park and often driving there so as not to walk the streets. Seems one anxiety becomes another but I am doing okay.
    I look forward to getting your posts. Take good care.
    Sarahbelle.
  26. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    12 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle
    Lovely to hear from you as well Sarahbelle. I share your anxiety. In fact whereas yesterday (the day I posted my response) was a "good" day, today I similarly feel more scared and skeptical. I have found that the short updates given by the ABC's Dr. Norman Swan on his daily "Coronacast"are very soothing, as he calmly but frankly explains the state of things here in Australia and when there is and isn't reason to be concerned.
    1 person found this helpful
  27. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to uncut_gems

    Thanks Gems will have to have a listen to the Caronacast. So many messages out there I only listen for a brief time everyday as it gets to me. I think the safety of home has made me a bit more anxious to go back to work which is fast approaching. The anxiety mucks around with my tummy and appetite. Yesterday took the dog for a walk and had a heavy fall - don't know how - scraped my knuckles and a few tender spots today ----had to laugh at myself after what a ning nong I am.

    Hope your day has been a good one and you have been kind to yourself. The sun is shining here, hope it is for you too.

    Take good care,

    Sarahbelle

  28. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    So good to hear from you– sorry about your fall, I hope you're okay! I know what you mean about having grown accustomed to the safety of home, even if it is difficult. I will say I've been keeping a careful eye on the statistics and it still looks like things are looking up here in Australia.

    I was able to go back to my office for the first time today, but only to get a flu shot. Still, it was nice to be out in the sun and see people. It made me feel a bit hopeful.

    Hope you're hanging in there.

    Gems

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    19 May 2020 in reply to uncut_gems

    Hi Gem's,

    How are you going?

    I am going okay after my fall, still a sore shoulder but that will be fine soon. Still working from home and really unsure of going back yet. I have a good system set up for myself which keeps be feeling balanced and in some control. Have been making an effort to get out of the house for some walks but so relieved to walk in the door, wash my hands and take a deep breath. I almost feel I need an ordered list in my head of what to do step by step to stop the jitters some days. One step at a time.

    I hope you have been able to enjoy some more sunshine and you are looking after yourself too.

    Sarahbelle

  30. missep123
    Community Champion
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    1059 posts
    21 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    I think it's amazing all the things you've been doing! Like you said, one step at a time. I've definitely been applying that to myself too!

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