Coronavirus Has Actually Lessened My Anxiety. Here’s Why.
As panic around the Coronavirus began to rise back in March, I texted my brother one day to check in, because he seems to be the one in my inner circle that was the most calm about all of it. But, he actually responded that he was surprised I was so calm.
And, he was right. I wasn’t freaking out. I was calmer than ever.
I’m a mom to three kids, and have a husband that works in the largest hospital in the state of Utah. Yet, I wasn’t panicking. In fact, if anything I was just taking it all in stride at the time, which is not my normal modus operandi.
I’ve struggled for years with anxiety.
Around the time I was in college, I started to become more aware of my own mental health issues, but they’ve always been there. Looking back, I recognize that even in childhood I manifested behaviors of childhood anxiety. But, since becoming a mother, my mental illness became exacerbated.
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder after finally finding a good therapist a few years ago, and the diagnoses were actually a relief.
However, one of my biggest struggles that I’ve had to work through more than any of my other anxiety triggers, has been my emetophobia.
The fears around one of my kids, or myself, coming down with the stomach bug were debilitating at times. I would have panic attacks, and could not control my obsessive thoughts and impulses to clean when illness struck, or to obsessively wash my hands. The evenings were especially hard, even on the days when we were all healthy.
Other illnesses would cause stress and alarm, too. So a big trigger for my anxiety has always been the fear of getting sick.
But, parenting in the time of coronavirus has been surprisingly easier on my anxiety.
The online schooling has been a challenge, and I have understandable worries surrounding the fact that my husband is a Physician Assistant in a hospital. While he works in cardiology, and his interaction with COVID patients has been sporadic, it’s still always lingering in the back of my mind.
But surprisingly, my fears surrounding getting sick have significantly lessened.
For people who know about my anxiety fears, they might be taken aback, but to me, it makes total sense.