The Story: It’s a tumultuous time for everyone as the world faces a pandemic, but feelings of stress and worry are exacerbated for those with anxiety. “Riverdale” actress Lili Reinhart shared her own struggles on Instagram with mental health and COVID-19, saying she finds herself having anxiety about having to run errands and leaving her home. Reinhart explained she’s been struggling with anxiety since middle school when she began having panic attacks. Despite the added stress of COVID-19, she said she’s taken this time to center herself and find new ways to cope.
I’ve very much been…just trying to take full advantage of this very rare time, where I don’t have much to do and deal with my own little box of trauma in the back of my head that I wouldn’t normally ever want to sift through. — Lili Reinhart, Paper Magazine
It’s been an incredibly hard month for all of us. And although this quarantine is isolating and extremely challenging for those of us who struggle with mental health, I have learned a lot about myself during this time. I have learned to cherish the people in my life who have stood by me through my best and my worst. I almost lost Milo a week ago when he was attacked and I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like without him now. Or without any of the close friends and family I have relied on for support throughout this pandemic. At the end of the day, all we have is each other. And all we can offer one another during this time is love and kindness. Love as hard as you can because the people around you may need it more than you think. ❤️
A post shared by Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) on Apr 17, 2020 at 5:45pm PDT
The Frontlines: Pandemic anxiety is a big deal. It’s something we’re all living through but it’s hitting some communities harder — including those who were facing struggles with mental health before the outbreak.
In May, the Washington Post reported that 1 in 3 Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety and depression.
Census Bureau statistics show 18- to 29-year-olds are the most affected, with 42% reporting anxiety and 36% depression.
For those who actually end up getting sick from COVID-19, one study showed2% dealt with post-traumatic stress symptoms.
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A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Meghana Nayak, shared what it’s like having anxiety during the pandemic. “I’m trying to tell myself what I’m feeling is normal, especially given the circumstances of what’s going on currently, and yet, there’s a part of me reprimanding myself for allowing the anxiety to gradually pervade my mind.” You can submit your first-person story, too.
Other things to know: Reading about others’ experiences with anxiety can create a greater sense of community during these difficult times. Here’s what other contributors are saying about mental health amid the COVID-19 outbreak:
How to take action: Health experts at the national and global level are taking note of the unique state of mental health and have created resources for dealing with anxiety as we navigate the pandemic. Here are several pages where you may be able to find help: