Most people thrive when around others. That increases a person’s ability to interact, share thoughts, and express feelings. It also helps make life a bit more enjoyable. When isolation happens, especially during conditions like a pandemic, that becomes very hard to do. Mental health is impacted, leading to instances of anxiety or depression in some. At Northern Illinois Recovery, we work to help restore mental health stability when these situations occur.
Why Does Isolation Have Such an Impact?
Many factors contribute to overall mental health. This includes things you cannot control, such as genetics. Other factors include self-esteem, confidence, family relationships, and feeling loved. Isolation takes a lot of those instances away, making it harder for someone to know they are cared for or have the type of support they need. Consider a few outcomes that occur when isolation occurs.
The Onset of Mental Health Disorders
Perhaps one of the most common outcomes of ongoing isolation is the onset of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. A person who has a predisposition for these mental health disorders is most likely to experience them. However, even those without previous symptoms may develop depression. Signs of mental health disorders include:
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Not having the motivation to care for one’s needs
- Lacking the ability to meet responsibilities.
- Experiencing mood swings or a lack of feeling anything
- Thinking about death and dying
- Having a low self-esteem
Depression can be one of the most common effects of isolation because people rely on others for their self-confidence and feelings of being valued. When that’s taken away, it’s hard to feel confident again.
The Onset of Drug or Alcohol Use
Drug addiction occurs when isolation occurs. This may be due to just having no one to stop a person from using frequently. It also comes from those untreated mental health disorders mentioned previously. When drug or alcohol use occurs, it continues because many people facing isolation lack the ability to get help. This can lead to overdose risks.
Changes in Cognitive Function
As often seen in older people, mental health disorders lead to cognitive decline when isolation occurs long-term. There’s less interaction with other people. There’s less stimulation. A person does not feel connected to others and therefore lacks any real challenges to cognitive function. Slowly, this leads to memory problems, a lack of motivation to learn or change, and instances of mood swings.
What Can Be Done About Isolation?
It’s not possible to engage in the way you used to during a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there’s no help available. A range of treatment programs exists that can offer help. Sometimes, help starts by making a few changes at home, too. For example, meditate. Engage in yoga or other forms of physical exercise. It may also be as simple as calling friends and family, video chatting, or visiting someone while just spending time in the driveway.
Know when there is a need for professional help, too. When depression becomes too much to handle, professional treatment can help through a number of therapies. Each therapy is designed to provide a person with a way to manage stress and day-to-day challenges. Isolation may be one of them.
Some of the therapies we offer that could help include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Holistic treatment programs
- Family therapy programs
- Group therapy programs
- Individual therapy programs
Protect Your Mental Health – Call Northern Illinois Recovery Today
Isolation from family and friends is difficult for many people. For those suffering from depression or other mental health disorders, help is available. At Northern Illinois Recovery, our professionals work closely with you to enable change. To learn more about our mental health treatment programs, call 855.786.1978 or connect with us online.