Thoughts and ideas from Dude With Sjogrens
2020 and coping with mental illness
June 22, 2020 at 4:00 AM
by Randy Klein
Taken in Queenstown New Zealand. Window facing Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables at sunset times.

One thing about living in the year 2020: the learning curve has changed on what living with mental health issues really looks like. It just took a series of events that were beyond anyone's control.

It is a challenge living with mental illness, whether it affects us or others. Everyone knows someone who lives with or has lived with mental illness.

What types of mental illness are more likely to increase this year? (There are many types of mental illness, and this is by no means a definitive list.)

- Isolation
- Depression
- Mania
- Anxiety
- Paranoia
- Eating disorders
- Feeling suicidal
- Sleeplessness
- Hallucinations
- Violent behaviour to others or experiencing violence
- Addiction
- Obsessive Compulsive behaviours
- Racing thoughts- Fear of death (or an obsession with death)
- Denial
- Several other forms of mental illness, or a combination of the above.

Mental illness is often a situational disease, but it can also be the result of genetics, or an organic illness.

Many who live with a long term illness will also live with some form of mental illness at some point.

Mental illness often causes isolation, and it is a struggle to keep control over the things that occurring. It can also cause further isolation.

This year, as a result of an inflammatory virus, people have become isolated or have lost control over the things that happen to them, and around them.

There are a lot of people who will seek help for depression. It can cause a feeling of helpless. It's important to find a community that provides support and that also provides an outlet to support others. There are times when medical treatment is required.

Obsessive compulsive type behaviours tend to increase in times of isolation, and this will find ways to control their environment. It becomes a coping mechanism to keep the horrible thoughts at bay. Long term, it is a cycle that leads to further isolation. There are doctors who are familiar with treating this condition.

Anxiety and sleeplessness can have a major affect during times of uncertainty. Lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations. This can mimic other conditions and lead to misdiagnoses.

Addiction is very much a disease of denial. Alcohol or drugs often become a means of coping, as a form of self-medicating. Addictions can also result from treatment of legitimate health concerns through prescription medications. Things can get out of control. It really helps to reach out to people who have been there, and who have been able to get past this struggle.

This could easily be a series written on each type of mental illness, causes, and how to seek help. The goal of this article was to draw attention to the fact that there will be a major increase in mental illness this year, and that anyone can be affected as a change of circumstances.

It is also very much a year for many to have first contact with a mental illness.

The year 2020 has been for many the year that changed everything. It has been isolating for many. It does not mean that it has to be addressed alone. A lot of people are struggling. As a united community, things are more likely to change.

The best thing to come from this year would be the emergence of empathy for others who are struggling. Hopefully, this year will be a year of change and acceptance for those who have lived with mental illness before 2020.

Be well.

Please feel free to share this with friends, family, and in groups. I am not a medical practitioner. All advice is provided on an "As is" basis.