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Mental Health in the time of COVID 19

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

2020 has been a year. It's October now and the world has been changing day to day it seems. As your San Antonio psychiatrist, I want to go back to March 2020 the day I remember San Antonio changed forever. I remember when the first COVID cases came to Texas from the diamond princess cruise. I couldn't believe it but it was coming to San Antonio. I could hear the military plane flying over one quiet evening bringing passengers in. The military city was about to get its first Covid 19 case. Fast forward to spring break, something changed. The NBA closed its season before an actual game was going to start on TV. Sports was over. Groceries became bare. Flour, eggs, milk staples that was plentiful were scarce. This was the beginning but where are we at right now.

Covid has been impacting the community in many ways. Stressors such as those who were exposed to Covid they had to self isolate from others. Those that were hospitalized due to Covid were alone in a hospital room where family members and friends couldn't visit. Those that survived Covid were suffering from grief from the loss of their loved ones. Healthcare providers (doctors, nurses, emt workers, and others) that treated Covid were being overwhelmed with increased stressors of an overwhelmed hospital system and shortages of PPE. Those that stayed at home had to work, teach their kids, and social distance. People were getting laid off from their jobs and had to worry about the uncertainty of their income.

Abrupt changes and stressors can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep issues, poor concentration. Let us not forget San Antonio our community changed. Protective factors such as social support and feeling safe at home, health care resources such as telemedicine provided access to medical doctors, many work places added more precaution and ability to work at home, adequate ppe was given, and timely covid 19 testing alleviated escalation of symptoms.

How do we cope?

Talking to a supportive group of friends, family, or psychiatrists like me about uncomfortable traumatic events help.

Discussing misconceptions that occurred from the traumatic situation.

Support health coping strategies such as diet, exercise, spending time with family or whatever makes you feel better! Relying on eating too much, alcohol, or other danger activities lead to more problems.

Talking to a physician or your local mental health resources. Professionals like psychiatrists, Licensed clinical social workers, or psychologist are trained to help people sort out their emotions in a productive way.

Today is a beautiful day in San Antonio. The sun is out and the air is fresh. I hope everyone has a mentally healthy day.


Your San Antonio Psychiatrist

Javen Valerie Cavazos MD

Board Certified Adult Psychiatrist

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