Covid fatigue is real and it can look like depression.
As a second State of Emergency was recently declared in Ontario, many of us are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, sad and angry.
One client described having “decision fatigue” as she faced decisions about how to manage remote learning with her school-age children, her own remote work, sending a toddler to daycare and then the guilt of feeling that somehow, she is failing with it all.
Others are feeling a sense of disappointment having hoped to come into the New Year with optimism for better days ahead. Instead, it feels like taking a giant step backwards.
If you are weary – you are not alone.
Covid Fatigue Masking As Depression
Depression is a real illness that can have significant impacts on you and your loved ones. Depression can be triggered by situational events – like a pandemic. If you have a history or family history of depression, you are at a higher risk of experiencing depression symptoms during stressful or difficult times. But depression can also hit even without any risk factors.
Covid Fatigue/Depression Symptoms
- Eating and/or sleeping too much
- Eating and/or sleeping too little
- Difficulty finding enjoyment in anything
- Feeling guilty and worthless
- Physical agitation like it is hard to sit still
- Feeling physically slowed down like you are moving through mud
- Feeling exhausted all of the time
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
- Problems with decision making
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Feeling left out, ostracized or in conflict with others
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
The Path to Feeling Better
If you are suffering, it is important to acknowledge you are not okay – and to let others know you are not okay. It is easy to deny or dismiss your struggle, but this can lead to a deeper slide into a dark place. You deserve so much more than that (even if you do not believe it at this moment). Mild symptoms respond well to self-help strategies including exercise, good nutrition, and improved sleep habits. Moderate or severe symptoms usually require additional help with therapy or a combination of therapy and medication.
You are not alone if you are experiencing Covid fatigue. There is help available to support you to move towards recovery. If this feels like a hard road to navigate on your own, let one of our therapists map out a plan to help you find your way back to feeling well.
by Mary Joan Brinson MSW, RSW