It’s difficult to know exactly when the coronavirus will no longer be a public health concern. This means most people continue to follow social distancing mandates, cancel summer plans, and make other life adjustments.
Does this mean your health and wellbeing should be put on hold as well? Not if you need help for drug or alcohol use, or fear you face a relapse in recovery.
Why Getting Treatment Now Makes Sense
COVID-19 presents a genuine threat to certain members of our population if their physical health is already compromised in some way. Even seemingly healthy individuals have died from it. These are the numbers we see reported every day.
What’s less known is the mental and emotional toil of dealing with:
- Anxiety over the pandemic and how it impacts you and the people you love.
- Additional stress over current circumstances, job loss, financial strain, and health concerns.
- Maintaining sobriety as you cope with new challenges such as working from home, homeschooling children, caring for relatives, and other responsibilities.
Medical experts already predict that some people will also experience PTSD, or acute stress disorder, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Center for PTSD also offers recommendations for managing stress. Unfortunately, in most cases, PTSD isn’t diagnosed unless a person experiences symptoms such as anger, nightmares, anxiousness, flashbacks to trauma, and others for at least a month or longer.
Long-Term Mental Health Effects of Coronavirus
In an April 2020 report by CNBC regarding the long-term mental health effects of coronavirus, Luana Marques said, “When we think about traumatic events, it’s not just what the event is, it’s really your interpretation and what the event causes for you.” Marques is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Marques also said that “It’s normal to have an intense emotional response to a significant threat or traumatic incident like a pandemic…but typically, symptoms tend to naturally recover over time.” This is good news.
In the CNBC article, she advised people to “watch what they’re saying to themselves, and how that’s making them feel and what they do.” This is always good advice for someone who has overcome addiction and is working with in-person or online support groups and therapy to build upon existing coping mechanisms and learn new methods. Hopefully, it helps maintain the awareness and intent of recovery.
But what if:
- You thought your drinking or drug use was a problem before the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home order?
- Your friends and family members have asked you to go to rehab and get help, or your relationships are worsening because of substance use?
- You notice a negative change in your habits and behaviors as you try to deal with all the current challenges? Being in isolation created more opportunity to drink or use drugs?
- Your health is getting worse because of substance abuse?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, the time to get help is now.
Where to Start
Making the choice to go to rehab isn’t always a lightbulb suddenly flashing. It’s more like a gradual awakening to the fact that:
- Your life as it is now doesn’t serve you.
- You no longer want to harm yourself or others.
- You’re exhausted from dealing with the complications, potential untruths, financial difficulties, and health challenges caused by substance abuse, or the trauma or grief that fuels it.
- You believe deep down that you have a right to live healthier, happier, and with purpose.
So start with a self-assessment for honest reflection about your behavior. This helps you come to the realization that professional help and rehab are the right route.
Then, maybe attend some form of 12-Step group to understand what it means to live sober, how others move past challenges, and feel the support of a community.
Next, do your research regarding what going to an inpatient rehabilitation facility means, what to expect, and how to pay for it.
Finally, call a facility to ask key questions such as the type of programs it offers, the experience of the staff, the individualized treatment approach, and other benefits to you.
There might also be resources to help your transition to rehab easier, such as:
- Taking time off from work but maintaining job security through the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Using health insurance to help cover the costs of treatment
- Trying a short-term inpatient stay if you can’t leave your family or work for long
- Trusting that you’ll have full recovery support after your program and not have to go it alone
Ultimately, making the choice to enter rehab now helps you regain control of all of life’s current uncertainties.
Let Our Family Care for You
During the coronavirus crisis, Willingway is considered an essential health services provider. This means we’re able to accept new patients by adhering to the recommended guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So you can be assured that you, our staff, and our current facility residents remain safe.
If you’ve suffered a relapse, we know what you’re going through and are ready to help you get back on solid ground. If you feel it’s time to take care of yourself and see addiction treatment as the best alternative, we welcome you and the chance to teach you how to make your life better. Our admission staff is available day or night and waiting for your call—don’t put off your health any longer.