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Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

Anxiety and Depression- Mayflax

Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

The pandemic has caused a mental strain on many people around the world. And for those living with anxiety and depression, the impact is severe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many aspects of everyday life, including mental health, have been affected. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our physical, economic, and mental well-being. As a result, many people face struggles that can be frustrating, daunting, and cause adults and children to have strong emotions.

However, social distancing and stay-at-home orders are very challenging, especially for people living with mental illness, COVID-19 exacerbates feelings of depression and anxiety.

Thus, during the Movement Control Order (MCO), with the limited movement, closed borders, and roadblocks, some individuals easily get heightened temperament and irritability at home.

Dr. Robert Leahy an attending psychologist at New York-Presbyterian said: “This is the perfect storm for depression and anxiety,”.

All data and statistics are based on the short article “Prevalence  of  Anxiety, Stress,  Depression  among  Malaysian  Adults during COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order”.

Therefore, the  prevalence  in a score  of Stress  70%  (Mean=2.02), Anxiety  67%  (Mean=1.71) and Depression  42.3% (Mean=2.28). There is a significant prevalence of psychological health problems among adults during adverse events due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order.

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to felt hopeless and despair. But these tips can help to improve your mood and ease your mental health problem.

1. Keep a schedule

Schedule your day with useful things. At the end of the day, check everything and make a list of things to do for the next day, so you can look forward to things.

Furthermore, create a set of goals for the week and month. This is the right time to set short-term and long-term goals.

2. Sleep well

Prioritizing sleep is not always easy when you are in a state of mental health. Stress, Anxiety, and Depression can affect the quality of your sleep.

Therefore, poor sleep can also lead to depression. Fixed your daytime habits and sleep routine can help improve how well you sleep at night and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Finding relaxing activities such as reading, writing a journal, or listening to slow music can cause your brain to slow down before bed.

3. Connect with others

Just because we are isolated does not mean we have to completely isolate ourselves. Make a list of friends to contact whenever you feel bored and lonely. Always stay connected with others !

Set a regular time each day to contact others, and schedule virtual get-togethers on online platforms to talk or share your problem and maybe even play games. Stay in touch with friends, family, and especially the mental health care team if you are diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

4. Find simple sources of joy.

Encourage yourself to do things that will boost your mood throughout the day. Try to listen to uplifting music and dancing around if you can as long as can make you happy all day long.

Alternatively, you can watch funny videos or favorite sitcoms on TV, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Spending time in nature such as walking in the park, or playing with your kids or a pet also can relieve stress.

5. Eat a mood-boosting diet

In times of stress, people always find “comfort foods” such as unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs to release their stress and depression. Therefore, drinks too much caffeine and alcohol also can adversely affect our mood.

Moreover, wholesome foods, fresh food such as salmon, codfish can increase your intake of mood-enhancing nutrients.

6. Stay informed and limit social media usage.

Nowadays, the government always announces information that constantly changes regarding SOP. It is important to stay up-to-date but not to overconsuming sensationalistic news or unreliable social media coverage. This makes your mind full of negative thought and fear.

Limit how often you check the news or social media and limit yourself to reputable sources. Thus, healthcare professionals also recommend not checking the news at least one hour before bedtime.

7. Exercise

Importantly, physical activity is good for mental health. Scientific research has shown that exercise, especially in particular aerobic exercise, can be beneficial for depression and anxiety.

Exercise will release good hormones and lowers your stress hormones. Since covid-19, you cannot go to the gym or fitness studios, try online broadcasts, YouTube workouts, or use the equipment at home to exercise.

Besides that, you can go running or cycling as long as you stay a safe distance away from others who are passing by.

8. Continue treatment or services from mental health professionals

If you are undergoing therapy, taking medication, or both before coronavirus started, make sure to keep up with your treatment regimen. Almost all psychiatrists or mental health professionals are now used online practices like video calls.

Alternatively, you can try an online therapy platform like WhatsApp video, Zoom, Webex, and others.

9. Practice gratefulness and mindfulness

During challenging times, be grateful and mindful can help to cope with anxiety and depression.

“When we take note of the good things in our lives, it bumps up the feel-good hormones of serotonin and dopamine,” said Serani.

As we know, practicing mindfulness meditation is very popular for overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress adds Guttentag.

Also, you can start the practice by taking a few minutes to sit or lying down and try to focus on your breathing. Besides, train your mind to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings to stay away from you.

Counseling and hotlines mental health services in Malaysia

If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Contact a healthcare provider if the sign of anxiety, and depression get in the way of your daily activities for many days and also if you are in crisis, immediately get help such as:-

  • Call 999
  • Talian Kasih at 15999
  • Befrienders (main suicide hotlines in Malaysia): 03-7627 2929/ 03-79568145
  • Malaysian Mental Health Association: 03-2780 6803
  • People Psychological Solutions : 017-899 2207
  • HELP University’s Centre for Psychological and Counselling Services (CPCS): 03-2096 1212
  • The Mind Faculty KL: 03-2780 6803
  • HumanKind Community Counselling (victims of physical and sexual abuse): 012-300 5453
  • Soul Mechanics: 010-252 1734 (Gia) / 019-395 9211 (Devi)
  • MentCouch Psychology Centre: 03-2712 9372

Depression and anxiety are soaring and there are many fears that we will face an epidemic of mental health.

COVID-19, make life very difficult for everyone, but they may pose an even bigger challenge for people with depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can give a huge impact on people’s lives.

However, depression can be treated. Even in this pandemic, it is important to continue to seek treatment and stick with it until you get cured.

Therefore, there are self tests that you can answer to check whether you have anxiety or depression, if the score tells you are having these mental health issues you need to see the doctors who specialize in psychiatry to diagnosed your disease. We cannot simply just do the test only. These self tests ask some important questions that can help you to know where you are at so you can make a sooner plan for feeling better.

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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COVID-19: Can vitamin C help boost your immune system?

COVID-19

COVID-19: Can vitamin C help boost your immune system?

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It happened in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Thus, it continued to spread and a vaccine is urgent for immunization and a cure. Meanwhile, waiting for the production of vaccine done, taking precautions action is considered the best approach.

This disease is asymptomatic and the severity of covid-19 may lead to severe respiratory tract infections and become deadly.

Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these factors related to immunity such as age and underlying conditions determine the risk of infection.

Therefore, individuals who are at higher risk of having covid-19 complications is a person that having a pre-existing illness like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues.

It also increases with age as the general immunity reduces when you getting older.

Besides, immune factors play a major role to protect our bodies, with this variety factor which indicates the influence the severity of the disease.

Does Vitamin C help boost your immunity and keep you from COVID-19-free?

Not exactly!  It strengthens your immune system, but there is no concrete evidence that it can treat or prevent the disease caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, our body still needs vitamins to boost the immune system

Similarly, no evidence said that vitamin C supplements can help to prevent COVID-19, “Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, told New York Times Parenting”.

“If there’s going to be an advantage, it’s going to be very modest,” Schaffner said.

Picture of Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that has immune-boosting micronutrients and it is relatively easy to get such as can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Hence, low vitamin C levels are also resulting in many health problems such as poor immunity, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.

Since your body cannot produce vitamin C, it’s important to include essential nutrients in your daily diet.

Humans cannot produce vitamin C on their own, because they don’t have the specific enzyme needed. Hence, we need to get it from an exogenous source which is food that includes essential nutrients in daily diet.

In addition, vitamin C plays a role in maintaining the immune system comprehensively through its antioxidant ability to protects against damage induced by oxidative stress, collagen synthesis, or directly strengthens immune cells in the fight against infection.

 It also helps prevent the common cold.

However, you can purchase the vitamin C supplement at the pharmaceutical wholesaler if you want in a bulk quantity such as mayflax

How much your body need Vitamin C per day?

The recommended daily dosage of vitamin C follow by age and gender. As per the National Institutes of Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin C are as follows:

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–6 months40 mg40 mg
7–12 months50 mg50 mg
1–3 years15 mg15 mg
4–8 years25 mg25 mg
9–13 years45 mg45 mg
14–18 years75 mg65 mg80 mg115 mg
19+ years90 mg75 mg85 mg120 mg

Note: Individuals who smoke need more doses than non-smokers needed, which is add 35 mg per day.

Here, have five clinical stages of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) :

Table of Stages Covid-19

Figure 1: Covid-19 treatment stratification in a Malaysian public hospital setting.

Can we consume vitamin C too much ?

Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning it absorbs and passes through your body faster. Besides that, vitamin C is eliminated when you urinate.

Taking more than 2000 milligrams per day of vitamin C can lead to unpleasant side effects such as:-

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Other food sources that are high in Vitamin C

Foods rich in vitamin C include :-

  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Red and green peppers
  • Potatoes

Immune booster to maintain body health

 There are 6 immune boosters to help you to maintain a healthy body other than vitamin C :-

Vitamin A (Beta Carotene): This vitamin helps the health of your intestines and respiratory system. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers, egg yolk, butter, milk, cheese, etc.

Picture of carrots

Vitamin E: Vitamin E can be a cancer prevention agent preventing cells from oxidative harm from free radicals. These nutrients also can neutralization of free radicals by working as an antioxidant such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

Picture of avocado

Zinc: There are many zinc-dependent enzymes in our body and their deficiency is associated with immune dysfunction. Zinc-rich foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, some shellfish, legumes, whole grains, and fortified cereals.

Picture of shellfish

Selenium: Selenium is another body’s antioxidant system, that ensures the body against oxidative pressure. It a mineral that helps certain immune cells function at their best. For examples, seafood, meat, whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Picture of whole grains

Probiotics: The function of probiotics to helps the gut to become a healthy gut because it is made up of good bacteria that help keep your body healthy and working well. Moreover, not only that, probiotics can contribute to immune function.

Picture of healthy gut

Protein: Specific amino acids can be found in protein. There are essential for T-cell function, which are cells that protect the body from pathogens. For instance, meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and all seeds which contain a lot of protein.

Picture of ham

These nutrients are proven to help your body’s immune system function most efficiently and effectively, but if you eat too much, it can be harmful.  Thus, eat these nutrients in moderation and do not overeat.

Can taking vitamin C help to prevent COVID-19?

Frankly, without a vaccine, it is important to find ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Again, there are many things about this virus that we still do not know because viruses keep changes through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. 

Right now, vitamin C is one of the few vitamins that your body needs to do its best. Getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet can help in strengthening your immune system, which also can possibly help you prevent this virus.

There is nothing wrong with taking vitamin C as part of your COVID-19 prevention plan, but no evidence it is true! There is a lot of ongoing research with positive results on the use of vitamin C as a treatment.

However, there is not enough information and evidence to know for sure whether it is effective against COVID-19.

Ways to prevent COVID-19

Furthermore,  have other ways can help to prevent the covid-19 spread. Now, you can follow easy tips to add to your “new normal” as a daily routine :-

Diagram How to avoid covid
  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  2. Apply hand sanitizer
  3. Wear a mask
  4. Social Distance
  5. Stay at home
  6. Disinfect or sanitize all the things
  7. Try not to touch your face or mouth.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan , Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is  Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax , one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Facing the pandemic with a mental health : Students are struggling

Cr. Sam Balye

Source from WebMD.com

College life could be both stressful and demanding and from that, anxiety, depression and inactive lifestyles are actually common among students. Now with the pandemic of COVID-19 happening worldwide, a new study might have found that the mental-health issues could be escalated and turn for the worst.

Researchers at Dartmouth College determined that the coronavirus pandemic had an immediate impact on the mental health of this particular undergraduate group of 200 students, using a mix of smartphone data and online surveys.

The study involved students who were participating in a research program tracking mental health at the New Hampshire university with Spikes of depression and anxiety were reported at the beginning of the pandemic in early March, just as the school pushed students to leave campus and begin remote learning all by their selves.

The study found out that the students’ overall anxiety and depression levels remained consistently high than in previous years, even if their self-reported anxiety and depression lessened slightly later on in the semester.

Jeremy Huckins, a lecturer at Dartmouth stated that there is a large-scale shift in mental health and behaviour compared to the observed baseline established for the group over previous years.

In addition, the students reported around spring break period in mid-March that their day-to-day lives were dramatically more sedentary than pervious terms.

Huckins suspected that spring break 2020 was stressful and confining for the students in the study and it might be responsible for a large number of college students across the country even though it is usually a period of decreased stress and increased physical activity.

A smartphone app developed at Dartmouth was used by the researchers to calculate sedentary time. It collected information such as number of phone unlocks, phone usage duration and sleep duration from the student volunteers.

Through the app, data on depression and anxiety were also collected using weekly, self-reported questionnaires. The decrease in activity among these students may have been related to lockdown orders implemented at the time.

Huckins also said that when social distancing was recommended by local governments, students were more sedentary and visited fewer locations on any given day. “The impact of COVID-19 extends beyond the virus and its direct impacts. An unresolved question is if mental health and physical activity will continue to degrade over time, or if we will see a recovery, and how long that recovery will take”.

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