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EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT OFFERS POST-COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ADVICE
|Health & Fitness in Los Angeles|
Address: 5455 Garden Grove Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
As more and more California counties ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, many mental health experts are gearing up for an increase in the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression. The World Health Organization has even issued a warning of "the looming mental illness crisis stemming from the isolation, fear and economic turmoil brought on by the pandemic." According to psychiatrist James Pratty, M.D., Medical Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health for Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 12 California counties, an entirely new swath of the nation will be affected.
“We have been living in virtual isolation for months and not able to do the things we typically do like going to work, school, church, restaurants, etc. Combine that with the fact that some 40 million Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic and we have a breeding ground for heightened anxiety and depression, which, left untreated, can adversely impact our lives,” says Pratty. “Now that the lockdown is being lifted in many areas, we have to adjust to our ‘new normal.’ It might feel strange to go outside after having been cooped up at home for so long. Activities that we used to take for granted before the pandemic like face-to-face work meetings or using public transportation might make us unduly anxious or depressed.”
Signs of depression:
· suicidal ideation
· feelings of fear, guilt and worthlessness
Signs of anxiety:
· incessant worrying
· racing thoughts
· irrational fears and thoughts of death
Pratty says there are steps you can take to diminish mild forms of anxiety and depression:
· Spend time with your family and help each other recover from the lockdown together
· Resume the activities you enjoy like socializing, gardening, engaging in sports, playing an instrument, etc.
· Avoid exposing yourself to constant media coverage of the pandemic
· Take care of yourself in terms of diet and exercise
· Don't smoke or take drugs and keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum, if at all
· Seek immediate help if your emotional state is impacting your professional and personal responsibilities
“COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. We’re in a period of transition and trying to return to some semblance of normalcy,” says Pratty. “At this juncture, it’s important to recognize that we are all in this together. At some point in our lives, we all experience some degree of anxiety or depression. But if you find that your life is being overshadowed because of your emotional state, then seek immediate treatment. There is help out there.”
Brand New Day offers a number of specialty plans in addition to its standard Medicare plan. They include:
• Embrace Plan — for members with heart disease, hypertension and/or diabetes
• Bridges Plan — for members with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients
• SelectCare Plan — for members who reside in long-term care (nursing homes) facilities
• Harmony Plan — for members with mental illness including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and paranoid disorder
For qualifying members, the plans cover transportation to and from medical appointments; vision, dental and hearing aids; 24-hour/day nurse and physician line; and health nurses and life coaches. In addition, members with chronic illnesses are not only treated medically, but in a variety of other ways including:
• Education about the member’s chronic or ongoing medical conditions and avoidable risks
• Self-testing and monitoring
• Medication adherence to doctor orders
• Preventive care planning
• Linkage to community support programs
NOTE: It is always a good idea to verify date, time, location and other information prior to going.
Eye Spy LA is not responsible for the accuracy of this information.
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