Social Isolation & Mental Health
Some people in the community are completely distancing themselves from other people. This may lead to further mental health problems due to the lack of communication. This is a negative impact of isolation because it may become more difficult for people who don’t communicate with others to integrate themselves back into a work or school environment.
It is important to note that there are always ways to connect with others, not just in person. Some ways in which one can dwindle the feeling of loneliness are connecting via video chat platforms, frequently speaking with close relatives and friends over the phone, finding things to do or ways to fill the day in order to create a distraction, and reminding oneself that social isolation will cease at some point in the future.
Since there is more time in the day to be left to one’s thoughts, anxiety may be amplified along with the feeling of loneliness. The government and local communities should create websites or video chat sites for people experiencing anxiety to have access to someone to talk to as well. The website could allow licensed professionals, willing to take part in the program, to speak one-on-one with someone feeling anxious about the coronavirus or any other topic that may be weighing on their mind at this time. Another website could have virtual groups where people from different communities could speak with one another in order to continue communication among people that want or need social interaction.
The world will not continue with social isolation for the rest of our lives and it is important to remember that. In the meantime, one should try to make the best of the situation and find what works best to combat loneliness and anxiety.
Institute of Medicine (US) Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. “Social Isolation Among Older Individuals: The Relationship to Mortality and Morbidity.” The Second Fifty Years: Promoting Health and Preventing Disability., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1992.
Hwang, Tzung-Jeng, et al. “Loneliness and Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” International Psychogeriatrics, Cambridge University Press, 26 May 2020.
“Expert Quotes: Social Isolation & Mental Health During COVID-19.” SciLine, www.sciline.org/covid/expert-quotes-social-isolation-mental-health.
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