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Are Current Events Making You Feel Depressed?

To say that 2020 has been problematic would be an understatement. As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on our lives and election politics become increasingly combative, there’s little good news to be found these days. 

If you’re feeling depressed as a result, we first want you to know that you’re not alone. In fact, nearly a third of adults in the United States are showing clinical signs of depression and anxiety, to say nothing of the children who are swept up in the bad news, too.

While there’s little we can do to change current events, Kimberly Krueger and our team of mental health specialists are here to help with your mood struggles

To get started, we’ll dive a little deeper into the problem and how you can take steps to find some happiness during these trying times.

Behind the depression

Before 2020, depression in the United States was already fairly prevalent, with more than 17 million adults reporting a major depressive episode. After COVID-19 struck, these numbers have grown as more than one-third of people over the age of 18 report problems with anxiety and/or depression.

There are many reasons for these skyrocketing numbers, and most are fairly evident. Humans function best when fear is limited and connection is prevalent, which allows us to feel safe and loved. 

Thanks to the current health crisis, however, quite the opposite is happening. From stay-at-home orders that isolate us to the fear of becoming infected, a pandemic such as this one can exact a heavy emotional, mental, and physical toll.

Surrounded by bad news

One of the biggest problems we’re seeing is that people are stuck at home and are at the mercy of news cycles that deliver nothing but ominous news. When you add social media to this mix, where fear-mongering is a primary form of communication, the problem becomes exacerbated.

In fact, there’s even a name for what we’re seeing — doomscrolling. In our need to stay connected with the world while we isolate, we often turn to social media. But gone are the days of cute goat pictures as people are transfixed by current events, and often fight about them.

If you find yourself checking in to stay informed, but you end up scrolling deeper and deeper into bad news cycles, this is the hallmark of doomscrolling. While doomscrolling can certainly lend validity to your depressive moods, it can also be quite harmful if you spend too much time in this very negative space.

One of the best things you can do to offset doomscrolling is to instead use your phone to call a friend or loved one for a more real connection to the world.

Focus on the future and gratitude

If you’re feeling depressed these days, we want to emphasize that these current events are just that — current. With a vaccine on the horizon, there’s certainly reason to be more optimistic that the pandemic will be a thing of the past quite soon.

As well, try to find things in your world that are good, rather than focusing solely on the bad. If you try hard enough, you’re certain to find at least one or two bright spots in an otherwise dismal landscape, and we urge you to focus on those.

Help is here

Our final point is an important one — don’t try to manage your depression alone. Our team is here to help, and we can work together toward a much brighter future. Simply contact one of our offices in Charlotte or Davidson, North Carolina, to talk to one of our compassionate team members.

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