Mental health woes with the pandemic and holidays

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As the pandemic enters its 9th month and the holidays approach, mental health providers worry about their existing patients and those who have yet to establish care. LSU Health New Orleans Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Richard Costa said isolation for many is difficult.

“Doing the right thing is to socially distance, but with that comes the social isolation and loneliness which can also lead to full-fledged depression if not taken care of pretty quickly,” said Costa.

Seasonal depression can worsen the effects of isolation. Costa said having troubling thoughts during the ongoing pandemic is normal and you should not feel ashamed to ask for help.

“The first place to check is with your primary care doctor, primary care doctors can then steer you in the right direction with additional referrals,” said Costa.

The holidays can be difficult for some, especially after the death of a loved one. Costa said the loss of normalcy also affects one’s outlook.

“But also when it comes to loss it’s important to think of metaphoric losses too; the loss of our freedom the loss of our ability to gather in the way that we’re used to, celebrating those traditions. And those things can really put us in a downward spiral of negative thought,” said Costa.

The department of health offers free counseling through The Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977.