CLEVELAND — Denise Meyer is a community mental health worker with OhioGuidestone, a behavioral health agency, and she is one of the many people who believe mental health is just as important as physical health.
“If I’m a diabetic, i need to take care of that. If I have anxiety, I need to take care of that, it's just as important because of that interconnectedness between our mental and our medical,” Meyer said.
When she was diagnosed with the coronavirus in July, Meyer not only had to put in extra effort to take care of herself physically, but mentally as well.
“I felt better with the other symptoms, but I couldn't think, and that scared me—really really scared me, because I’m a visual person, so I do visual pictures in my head of the things I have to do during the day, and I couldn't stop crying. And I called my supervisor. I’m like, I really don't think I should meet with clients today,” she said.
Meyer, who prior to COVID was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, said after recovering from the virus, getting back into a routine was vital for her mental health.
A recent study published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal found 20% of coronavirus survivors are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days, including depression and anxiety.
Courtney Yergin is the assistant director at OhioGuidestone and says the numbers aren’t surprising.
“With something like COVID-19, it throws everything in disarray. Your body is then in a heightened state of that stress response, and so that then weakens your ability to manage your day-to-day stressors and you find that it's difficult to focus, you're becoming more irritable, your sleep is disrupted,” Yergin said.
Yergin says seeking help may be scary for some, but it’s better than suffering in silence.
“Everybody needs that support in different ways and it's okay to ask for that help. So, kind of what we hope is that people, you know, can see that support is not something to be ashamed about,” she said.
For more information on mental health resources provided by OhioGuidestone, visit their website.