Caring for Someone with Depression During COVID-19


There is ample evidence that infectious disease outbreaks have a significant effect on mental health:

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Just as the coronavirus can be much more dangerous for people with preexisting medical conditions, the psychological effects of the pandemic can be much worse for people already living with depression.

People can help those with depression during this challenging time by:

  • encouraging them to follow recommended safeguards, including regular hand washing and physical distancing, because mental health problems can lead to deliberately poor health choices
  • offering assistance with receiving tests and treatment as necessary
  • contacting them frequently to help them handle social isolation
  • ensuring that they get news and vital information from reliable sources, rather than just from social media, which can increase anxiety

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Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to find help for someone with depression. Certain signs indicate the need for treatment, particularly if they last for more than a week or two. A person should seek help if they:

  • express suicidal thoughts or plans or attempt suicide
  • are no longer drawn to their preferred activities and people
  • display an inability to concentrate or focus their thinking
  • experience increasing agitation
  • have an extreme lack of energy
  • have new difficulty sleeping or an unusual desire to sleep more
  • experience changes in appetite
  • demonstrate a lack of interest in bathing or their appearance

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Author: Danielle Dresden
Medically Reviewed: Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
Publication: Medical News Today
Title: Caring for someone with depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

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