The Impact of Social Isolation on Your Mental Health

Posted on April 17, 2020

The Impact of Social Isolation on your Mental Health 

Memphis, TN April 17, 2020- Reported cases of COVID-19 are increasing daily. In effort to decrease the spread of the virus, social distancing and isolation have become the new norm for most of society. While we are solving one problem (COVID-19), we should be mindful that we may be increasing another. 

Studies show that those who socially isolate themselves for extended periods of time are more likely to develop mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and social anxiety. Being lonely and depressed can be a gateway to negative thoughts and emotions, and even suicidal thoughts. 

 

How can we prevent mental health issues in a situation that demands social isolation? “I think what we really need is that sense of community,” said Iverson Bell, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. 

 

Dr. Bell and Syidah Abdullah, MD have put together a list in an effort to encourage the community of Memphis and UTHSC: 

 

1) Contact and Engagement: Ensure you are regularly checking in and being conversational with your friends, family, and coworkers. 

2) Safety and Comfort: Work to maintain the appropriate social distancing guidelines. Be creative through facetime, skype, zoom, teleconferences, and etc. 

3) Information: Spread information to your community about resources and for support. Mental Health Hotlines, Community Organized hotlines, television, and radio information are all available resources.