Isolating at home, its effect on mental health, and what to do

Isolating at home, its effect on mental health, and what to do

Human being is a social animal and therefore isolation at home can affect their mental health adversely. Though, isolation has become an important way to stop the spread of the corona virus, it has exposed and triggered many underlying mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. For people, who are already struggling with these conditions, isolation has either made them relapse or aggravated their conditions.

Studies have shown that isolation-induced loneliness can lead to mental health problems like depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and having suicidal ideation. Older adults and people with disabilities or health conditions are the ones most effected by isolation at home. Other factors that can lead to isolation and loneliness are divorce, children leaving home, living alone, being single, and a smaller family size.

Early Signs that one is moving towards a mental health disorder

Mental health disorders can descent quietly on an individual without them realizing. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that one can look out for. These include:

  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Disturbed eating patterns
  • Disinterest in things enjoyed earlier
  • Memory relapses
  • Self-neglect
  • Feelings of hopelessness and despair
  • No control over emotions
  • Decrease in Libido
  • Mood swings ranging from extreme happiness to extreme despair

Different age groups would show different signs. For example, children and teens may display emotional difficulties while middle-aged and older people may display cognitive decline and a tendency to consume alcohol and drugs.

What to do

Experts insist that there is a difference between isolation and loneliness. This is the reason why certain steps can be taken to overcome the loneliness during isolation.

  • Stay connected: Today, the definition of staying in touch with your loved ones is not limited to meeting them physically. One can call, video chat, or mail them. One also has the option to join social media platforms or online hobby groups to keep themselves busy and in touch with other humans.
  • Go out: Go for a walk outside the home. However, ensure that you are at a safe distance from the others. In addition, wear a mask at all times to protect yourself as well as others.
  • Maintain a daily routine: Just because one is at home, it does not mean that they do not need to follow a routine. Get up at the normal time, take a bath, groom yourself, and complete the daily chores. This will ensure a structure to the day giving you a purpose.
  • Exercise and eat healthy: Try to incorporate half an hour of exercise in your daily routine. This will release endorphins regularly, making one feel better. Also, do not over-depend on ordering food from outside. Try to cook as many as meals as you can. Also, include fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts in your diet to ensure that you eat a healthy and balanced meal.

Seeking help

If the tips given above do not help one overcome their loneliness and they are still feeling overwhelmed with the isolation, then it is advisable to seek professional help. According to experts, more than 8 million Americans reported feeling lonely before the pandemic hit and the number has been rising ever since. Mental health treatment centers can offer various evidence-based treatment programs designed to help people battling with mental health disorders.

If you know someone who is struggling during the forced isolation, get in touch with the California Mental Health Help. Our trained supervisors can help you choose the right mental health treatment program customized to suit your needs and requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 to gain access to details of mental health treatment centers in California. You can even chat online with one of our trained representatives to know more about our residential mental health facilities in California, the kind of programs we offer to explore more suitable options for you or your loved ones.