Coping with pandemic stress

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Coping with the Coronavirus pandemic emotionally is difficult for many people.

Klamath Basin Behavioral Health Director Stan Gilbert says it’s a stressful time for everybody.  “I want people to understand that it’s normal in a situation like this to feel more stress, more anxiety.”

Gilbert says mental health counselors are now doing most of their work by phone, or telehealth.

People are echoing many of the same concerns.

“People are worried about getting the virus, getting sick.”  Notes Gilbert.  “People are worried about how long this is going to last, when will it end – there are economic concerns.”

Gilbert suggests it’s important to try to maintain as normal a routine as possible.  “Get enough sleep.  Find some way to exercise, get some physical activity.  Eat healthy.  Avoid overuse of tobacco, alcohol, or other substances.”

Gilbert cautions that stress and anxiety may last beyond the social isolation time.

“It could be that we’re going to re-open society, and try to get back to normal.”  Gilbert points out.  “But the long term emotional and mental health aspects of this could continue beyond that.”

If you can’t sleep, or if you lose interest in things that normally make you happy, it may be time to ask for help.

“Those are all signs of depression and anxiety.”  Suggests Gilbert.  “I would encourage you to reach out, talk to friends, family – interact socially – call us if you need to.”

There are a variety of mental health counseling services in many communities.

You’ll find a link to Klamath Basin Behavioral Health here:  kbbh.org

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