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Forums / Staying well / Hi there, I only just joined and I'm worried about the Coronavirus.

Topic: Hi there, I only just joined and I'm worried about the Coronavirus.

  1. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    2 March 2020
    Hi everybody.

    This is my first time posting on this forum - I only joined BB last Saturday night after a bout of anxiety and depression.

    The thing is, I’ve been worrying a lot about the coronavirus that is going on at the moment; every time there is a news item about it its worse than the news item before it. And now that Australia has confirmed person-to-person virus contact it seems we are going the way of China with shut downs and restrictions and the news is full of footage of statistics and even people panic buying. I know it sounds really strange where I am coming from, but its just been on my mind almost 24/7 and I am becoming obsessed with news about it which probably isn’t good. I’m genuinely scared I am going to catch it or worse. Am I the only one out there like this?

    I’ve always been on the anxious side of things, a born worrier etc. I just turned fifty last year (yeah, great) and I work from home as a graphic designer. And its only me living here - my partner lives a couple of hours away in the country. I’ve told her what I am going through and she is very low key about the whole coronavirus situation.

    I’d really appreciate some ideas, feedback etc.

    Thanks guys! :)

    2 people found this helpful
  2. ErinB
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    ErinB avatar
    34 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry,

    Your concerns are valid. Please don't feel strange for being worried. It is a scary time, especially for those of us with anxiety disorders/mental illness. It may be a good idea to try avoiding the news for a few days and ask for major updates from your partner or someone else close to you so that you're not exposed to news about it 24/7 but know that you'll get important information about it should that information arise. I hope your anxiety surrounding the corona virus decreases soon!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    8028 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi, welcome

    I go along with your concerns about this insidious virus. But as a boy that was nicknamed the “worrier” in school by teachers, there is a problem with your processes in filtering reality. Please let me explain.

    eg I’m scared of sharks and won’t enter the ocean beyond knee height. Yet there is 20,000 more chance of being injured or killed in a car accident to the beach and return. Simply put, I’m not being realistic.

    At 29yo when I had a stress related workplace incident that was the first abnormally my new therapist picked up on- “ask yourself Tony, are you being realistic”.

    The 2nd thing was my attitude “Tony, when are you going to stop saving the world”.

    And the third- “well Tony, that’s great helping others, but getting that into perspective so you can help yourself will allow you to continue helping others rather than fall in a heap,”

    That was 33 years ago, yet those lessons are used almost daily.

    listed below is some valuable threads that you can insert in the search bar at the top of the page.

    Anxiety, how I eliminated it

    Worry worry worry

    Sensitivity and depression- a connection?

    The Good Samaritan

    Distraction and variety

    I hope they help. A racing mind that has obsessions needs attention through a combination of all things needed to achieve calm- therapy, medication, self help etc. those aspects if currently receiving, might need a review.

    What do you think?

    TonyWK

    5 people found this helpful
  4. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to white knight
    Thanks Tony, your reply is much appreciated. Sometimes I feel like my mind is racing in regards to this crisis to the point where I could easily shut myself inside my home, barricade the door and not come out. I was at the pub tonight with a couple of mates and all I could think about was “what if this is the last time I get to go out?” “Has the person who handled the food been infected?” I think my mind is getting carried away with these thoughts - so my sincere apologies if I’m coming across like that. I’ll check out the links you’ve suggested and see how I go.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond - it’s much appreciated. H
    3 people found this helpful
  5. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2605 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry Lime,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post. While this is the first one I've seen on Beyond Blue so far about the coronavirus, I think you've said what lots of people are thinking - it is a really anxious time for people and you are not alone with your worries.

    As someone with anxiety also, it's helped me to try and understand it. I've learned that the TV is often using significant scare tactics so it's no wonder that we're alarmed by it.

    So for example, yes, we have seen person to person contact, but the risk of getting the virus is the same as the risk of getting the flu - in terms of the amount of people that get affected and how (sneezing/coughing). I also know that people have died from this virus, but what the media has failed to tell us is that a significant majority of these people are a) old and b) already unwell or with an illness that compromises their immunity.

    While people are panic buying, there isn't actually any need to, in the same way there is no need to avoid the corona beer or Chinese restaurants.

    If you need to turn the tv off or change the channel I encourage you to do so, or to find ways to keep distracted with things that you enjoy but try not to barricade yourself up! Hopefully by being here and reaching out you can stay grounded and not get too caught up with your anxiety.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f
    Hi RT

    Thanks for the response to my post. I took the advice of yours, and others on the site, and tried to stay off the news for a bit today and got down to some freelance work. Most of the day was okay but the evening news when I decided to get an update threw me off kilter a bit; government enacting “phase two” with enforced quarantines and isolating people etc, plus the latest deaths/infected numbers. All this explained with footage of from China of people being dragged kicking and screaming out of their homes. Pretty scary stuff.
    So I’ll do a movie tonight instead.
    Thanks again for replying to me, it’s much appreciated.
  7. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to ErinB

    Hi ErinB

    Thanks for being the first to respond to me - that means a lot, particularly since I’ve only just joined. I’ve been trying a few recommendations you and others have suggested - it’s a bit up and down - but I’m trying. :)

    Thanks again.

  8. fred4761
    fred4761 avatar
    74 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry,

    My psychiatrist actually suggested that I stop watching/reading/listening to the news a couple of years ago as I found that I was getting bogged down with negative stories and worries about what was going on in the world. At first I found it hard to do and I worried that I would miss out on some sort of important information however, my psych assured me that the way news spreads if it was something I needed to know I would hear about it from family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances etc. I have found this to be the case and anything that I have needed to know I have heard about. Since cutting out the news I have really come to realise just how much of the news reported is bad news . . . hearing other people say “what do you think about this disaster/accident/crime/war/political scandal etc”. I hadn’t realised just how much of the news headlines are dominated by negativity rather than positive, feel good news stories. I must admit that with all of the talk about the Coronavirus I have been tempted to look up news stories about it but have been able to resist as I know from previous experience that obsessing about it won’t help me. I have also reminded myself that the news does tend to exaggerate and dramatise things rather than reporting on info like RT mentioned in the above post about the ages and health conditions of the people who have been most seriously affected by the virus.

    Good luck in switching off from the media coverage.

    7 people found this helpful
  9. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to fred4761

    Hi Fred

    Thats a pretty full on way of dealing with the negativity in the news by going cold turkey - well done you! :). I’ve always been a news junky and wanting to know what’s going on so now it’s a bit like slamming the gears into reverse. Glad to hear it’s made a difference for you, That’s great!

    1 person found this helpful
  10. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    10422 posts
    3 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry Lime

    I understand your concerns re the Covid-19 outbreak... you are one of many..(including myself) that are worried about it yet there is little we can do at this time...

    There is always good news though Harry...21 people out of the 34 diagnosed..(In Australia) have recovered from the corona virus....as of 11am today March 3

    I used to be a news junkie too...not anymore....I respect your choices though..no worries!

    Paul

    4 people found this helpful
  11. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2605 posts
    4 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry Lime,

    It's great to hear back from you and it looks as though you are getting lots of support here which is wonderful.

    I'm really glad to hear you got stuck into your freelance work and wanted to watch a movie - did you find that your anxiety dropped a lot, or where you still thinking about those things? Anything that you can find that's not only enjoyable but especially a great way to lose track of time.

    I saw the documentary on how the Chinese Government were responding to the coronavirus; it is extreme, but it's also very specific to their Government. I don't like to talk politics on here but I am 100% sure that us Aussies won't be dragged kicking and screaming out of our homes!

    There was a couple of other things I thought of that might help -

    Rather than watching the news on tv, would you be open to reading one source instead? For example, just looking at the ABC news or SBS news websites. It will still be daunting, but you'll be able to pick and choose what to look at and still have the sense of feeling updated. There is of course the option of not following the news which is perfectly understandable! You can also choose to look at (only) positive news websites - this is something I'll often do just to balance it out!

    Also, see if you can remind yourself that people can get better with this virus. If you have to look at the deaths/infected numbers, look at the recovered ones too - as I'm typing this over 36,208 people have recovered. Unfortunately that one is a little known statistic but I think it's so important because it helps remind us that this is just another virus and our body is generally pretty good at dealing with viruses.

    rt

    p.s. unrelated, but would be open to hearing what movie you watched! I'm in need of recommendations :)

    1 person found this helpful
  12. macfan6
    macfan6 avatar
    7 posts
    4 March 2020
    Hi Harry.

    Sorry that you are feeling worried and anxious. I hate how the media likes to exaggerate the news to tell a story. I have been scared by the news before. And the story turned out to be no big deal at all.

    In China the virus is spreading like wildfire. But in Australia there are not many cases, and only one person has died. With everyone cleaning out the supermarkets, it doesn’t help. But honestly, when one person buys a trolley full of toilet paper. Everyone feels the need to. I understand that the first person-to-person virus contact was with some who had recently been to Iran. And Iran has a very high count of people infected. I read that 80% of people get a mild case of the flu. I did some maths on the number of cases worldwide. 3% is the number of deaths. A very small percentage.

    If you mind wonders off in the direction of what if this or what if that etc, distract yourself, and remember, it is just in your mind, and not real.

    My advise, is to stay away from reading or watching the news. The more you hear/read, the worse you will feel. Also, take ever day at a time. Looking ahead can be scary.

    I hope this helps you.
    1 person found this helpful
  13. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    4 March 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f
    Hi RT,

    I’ll get the all-important question out of the way first; the movie I ended up watching last night was the latest episode of Dr Who! The go-to movies here are “The Third Man”, “The Shining”, and the all-time, multi-Oscar-award-winning “Weekend at Bernies”!

    Back to the “other topic”, keeping the mind occupied is always helping, the news seems not to help though. I woke up this morning after having bad dreams about this whole thing and started the day in a bad way. But I ended up this afternoon being invited in by the neighbours whom I’d never properly met but by chance I was out the front here and coffee seemed nice. As a pharmacist he was able to be a great help and put things into perspective. Another thing that put things into a better perspective was seeing the fight break out in the local supermarket between two males (probably my age) over …….. toilet paper.

    I’ll try and stay off the news again tonight cos I've picked up another freelance gig and see how we go.

    Thanks again, RT, much appreciated.

  14. ErinB
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    ErinB avatar
    34 posts
    5 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry,

    You're very welcome. I've read some of your other replies in the forum and saw that you've been avoiding watching the news. That's great to hear and I hope it's lessened your anxiety a bit. Definitely keep doing things to distract yourself and keep your mind off of it.

    All the best,

    ErinB

  15. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    5 March 2020 in reply to ErinB

    Thanks ErinB.

    It can be a bit of a rollercoaster, I'm finding. Sometimes I'm not worried by it, other times I am. And sometimes more worried than other times. I'm guessing its the news that is doing it as they really push the death and sickness angle - and their graphics department is having a field day with CGI of viruses floating all over the news reports. Tonight, I did something I never did before and watched "The Project" - its almost like the news without actually telling the news. Even though I've got a bit of freelance on the go at the moment its always in the back of my mind. But being on this forum does help which is great and theres been some very helpful suggestions. Apologies if I haven't replied to everyone yet. :)

  16. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    2555 posts
    6 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime
    Hi Harry Lime,

    We understand how distressing it can feel to consume the large volumes of media regarding the coronavirus which may also bring about feelings of anxiety. A lot of members here have offered some great support and advice around ways to stay well and cope with the range of thoughts and emotions that you’ve been processing over the last few days (hello and thank you to all!) .
     
    It can be hard to escape coverage about the coronavirus however you may find it useful to continue to try and limit the amount of media you expose yourself to. It is also important to use credible sources to keep informed – this can also assist you in feeling more in control of the situation. For links to credible sources regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as well as for additional  tips on managing your worry and mental health during this time, we’d encourage you to visit our newly developed resource page ‘Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak’:   https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
     
    We hope you find this information useful and are glad to hear that the forums have been a helpful space for you to share your journey and receive some support from others. We hope to see you around!
     
  17. ErinB
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    ErinB avatar
    34 posts
    6 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry,

    Yes, the news certainly likes to publish every bit of information regardless of whether or not there's any evidence to support it. That can be so dangerous for people like you, but thankfully you're avoiding it as much as possible. When you feel those urges to check the news, perhaps do some research using reliable sources so you're not putting yourself through false information and causing unnecessary concern. The Project is a good alternative and provides some comedic relief too. I'm glad some suggestions on the forum have been helpful and I hope they continue to. :)

  18. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    7225 posts
    6 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Harry Lime,

    Thanks for your honesty.

    We have seen by shortage sin our supermarkets that people are panicking.

    I have noticed when at railway stations the people are not using the railings. I have seen two older people fall because they didn't hold on to the railing.

    hen there is so much misinformation it is hard to know the truth.

    Thank you having this thread.

    Quirky

  19. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    7 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    No worries Quirky. I’ve only joined the beyond blue forum a week ago after going through a bad patch and this thread has been a great help and support to me. I check it each day just to see if others are experiencing similar emotions to me about the coronavirus.
  20. SapereAude
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    SapereAude avatar
    92 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Good morning all. It certainly is a difficult time presently worldwide but I think it is important to note that governments are attempting to limit the spread of a viral flulike disease which for most people is nothing but a week or so of sickness and recovery. Not something you want but at the same time, not threatening to most patients. The concern is more around limiting the exposure to people who may be more vulnerable (ie elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions).

    It’s natural to be worried though, especially about the unknown. Make sure you reach out on these forums and to your loved ones. If you are distressed, call Beyond Blue or contact your mental health professional.

    Also, try not to watch the news (hysteria sells) but if you can keep getting simple but official updates through a trusted source (ie family/friend without the hype then do so).

    Keep calm and carry on! Together we will get through this!

    take care

    1 person found this helpful
  21. SapereAude
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    SapereAude avatar
    92 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime
    Could a mod perhaps sticky this thread or put a link similar to the bushfire thread please? :)
    1 person found this helpful
  22. CMF
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CMF avatar
    8012 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime
    Hi Harry,

    I stopped watching the news a few years ago. I hear snippets from others and I too am starting to feel a little anxious about the virus but am taking things day by day. Practise good hygiene, boost your immune system with healthy foods and stay present, that's what I'm trying.

    Hope this helps.

    Cmf x
  23. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    2555 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to SapereAude

    Keep your eyes peeled SapereAude. We're working on something that fits that bill right now. It should be up within the next few hours.

    In the meantime, thank you for your calming influence here. Please, everyone, keep supporting each other here on Harry Lime's thread as well as the one soon to be published. We're glad you've found this thread helpful.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    10422 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to SapereAude
    Hi SapereAude and Welcome

    Beyond Blue have a section dedicated to this virus

    SophieM our community moderator wrote an excellent thread above

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

    I hope you find this reference helpful .....Paul
  25. quirkywords
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    7225 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to blondguy

    It is good Beyond Blue have informative threads on corona virusI find the amount of information overwhelming.

    I choose one source I trust.

    I don't listen to much news as it is too sensational.

    Quirky..

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    13 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Yes, the media are overhyping, sensationalising, and clambering to get your eyes on their news feed. I probably did a bit of a stupid thing this morning and had the radio tuned to 3AW and Neil Mitchell was going at a million miles an hour covering the cancellation of the Grand Prix, what else is being cancelled, what the stock markets were doing, who will be unemployed etc. As a result, I felt a bit bombarded by all this and needed to switch off for a while (not good when you work from home). I think we can back it in the media attention to this (and people's reactions) will escalate as this thing goes on. I'm glad to see the BB team have now got a dedicated thread to help members who are concerned by the coronavirus to help those of us feeling anxious about it.

    H

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Guest_9043
    Guest_9043 avatar
    226 posts
    15 March 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f
    Hi Romantic Thief.

    Movie suggestions:

    What dreams May come.

    The entire Toy Story Collection.

    A conversation with God (Non religious)

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    The talented Mr Ripley.

    The curious Case of Benjamin Button.



  28. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13005 posts
    15 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hi Harry, welcome and pleased there have been so many good replies including a couple from SophieM.

    Being anxious is well and truly understandable and definitely a worry for all of us without any doubt, the one thing we have is that it's worldwide, so there will someone or some country who will find a vaccine to this infectious disease.

    Unfortunately panic creates panic and that's what we are seeing in the supermarkets where there are no particular items left to purchase and all the supermarkets have been too slow in policing the purchase of toilet paper, only thinking of the profits they'll make.

    They are putting a ban on any returns once we get back to normal and I'm sure there will be every available epidemiologist working overtime because the company who finds a vaccine is going to make a large profit.

    The health and safety of all of us is imperative.

    Please take care.

    Geoff.

  29. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    7225 posts
    15 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Human minds seem to often predict the worst.

    It seems research explains that people tend to overestimate how they’ll be impacted by terrible events and underestimate how much they will handle and adjust to difficult situations.
    Most of us are more resilient than we think.

    I think it is the unpredictable nature of how far and how wide the virus will go that makes us worry and anxious.

    It would be helpful if we could feel positive about how we will cope with this event.

    Quirky


    1 person found this helpful
  30. Harry Lime
    Harry Lime avatar
    14 posts
    15 March 2020 in reply to geoff
    Thanks Geoff for your reply. It’s an absolute roller coaster at the moment - the whole virus scenario and my own reactions to it. I’ve made the decision to see the Doctor tomorrow and have a chat. Maybe get something to calm me down mentally a bit too. It’s been years since I took anti anxiety tablets but I guess it’ll help. And see about having a chat to a counsellor as well. May as well stay ahead of the curve. :/

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