From The Confessional: The Quarantine Mental Health Struggle Is Real

by Karen Johnson
Originally Published: 
via Eric Audras/Getty

Never before has it been so important to address our mental health. Being quarantined, being unable to do the things we normally do for self-care, worrying about our income, worrying about getting sick, worrying about our loved ones getting sick… COVID-19 is taking a toll on our well-being in ways we couldn’t have seen coming.

It’s important that we admit how hard this is. It’s important that we do what we can—reach out to a friend, therapist, or family member via phone or computer, or maybe sneak away into another room for a quiet minute. Tell someone you’re struggling, practice deep breathing exercises if you’re feeling anxious, and don’t hesitate to take medication if it helps you.

Your mental health must be a priority in order for you to emerge with the rest of the world once we eventually beat COVID-19. Don’t put it on the back burner, don’t ignore your mind and body when they tell you what they need, and most importantly, don’t forget this universal truth: you’re not weak if you struggle with mental health issues. In fact, seeking help and knowing what you need is one of the greatest signs of strength.

So much of parenting is teaching your children lessons through your own behavior. The kids are watching—everything we do. So set an example, take care of yourself, and show your kids what it looks like to invest in your mental health.

Confessional #22439158

my first mental health counseling appt is next week. i hope it goes ok and i just don’t get shamed for drug seeking or something like that. it took a lot for me to even make the appt. fingers crossed.

Confessional #23656759

Finally going to ask for help in cleaning up various areas of my life, housework & mental health. Tired of being too strong for too long. Hate being burned out. I need help, people see it but don’t offer.

Confessional #25777313

A few months ago I was working almost 2 full time jobs. Now I’m working only 1 and am at home 24 hrs a day. Complete opposite but I am so happy to spend more time with my 5 kids. Was so goddamn depressed before.

This shit needs to stop. We all need to join up and remove the stigma attached to mental health issues. We need adequate, affordable care. And we need to educate ourselves on how to treat others and set up safe and fair boundaries. Only when we take these crucial steps will we truly be able to cure ourselves as a nation and a world.

Confessional #23618934

Because I have mental health probs, whenever I go to the Dr for a physical issue, they are dismissive toward me. Had wounds on my leg from a dog attack, and Dr didn’t even give me pain med. Just bandaged & sent me away.

Confessional #22303807

Writing all your expensive “self-care” off as “necessary for your mental health” is such privileged BS. My mental health sure would benefit from a pedicure, massage & hair cut/color too but I CANT FUCKING AFFORD IT.

Confessional #22306585

As someone with a mental illness, I understand one must be patient and kind when a person is struggling with mental health. However, that does not mean we must endure years of abuse from the mentally ill who refuse to get help.

Parents are often naive about how much mental health ties into parenting—your own and your kids’.

Confessional #21900925

If I had known what having a kid would do to my mental health and that the kid would have anxiety and sensory issues, I don’t think I would have gone through with it. This is fucking HARD.

Confessional #21660623

The worst thing I’ve ever done for my mental health? Become a parent.

Confessional #22202893

DH had told me that the traveling was going to be temporary. Apparently temporary means gone every weekday. Leaving me to deal with our 3 DDs (2 his, 1 mine) that each have a mental health issue. Never felt so alone and overwhelmed as I do now.

Realizing you are suffering from mental illness can be scary, but this is the first step. Getting help comes next.

Confessional #25771816

I think I’m depressed. But everyone depends on me to keep everything going so I don’t know what to do. Meds made me foggy. Vacation not an option. Husband makes it worse. What do I do?

Confessional #25759985

I’m not sure if I’m just exhausted, severely depressed or both but I spend way too much time in bed

Confessional #22933034I need a rant. I need a friend that I can just unwind to. I need a therapist. I don’t have mental health issues yet. But I need someone to talk to. I need to pay for a friend or I am going to lose my mind.

Even though modern technology gives us “connections” like this, quarantine is hard and still makes us feel isolated and alone.

Confessional #25777567

I stopped drinking completely. I feel depressed, anxious and bored. But I could feel myself going down a rabbit hole I wasn’t sure I could get out of if I wanted to stop. So I’m glad I could stop before getting stuck.

Confessional #25776507

On repeat in my head: don’t get depressed don’t get depressed don’t get depressed. DH has risen to the occasion and been amazing but I’m still sinking.

Confessional #25776321

I feel so lost not working. My kids are literally smarter than me and don’t need my help with school. I’m so depressed and tired all the time. Zero motivation. Not getting paid also sucks ass, so I’m worried about how we’ll pay bills. Is it over yet?

The best thing you can do as a parent is recognize what you need to be the healthiest mom or dad you can be. Then go do it.

Confessional #22372749

I’m a sahm with a nanny. Not sorry. I did it alone for years and it is HARD. Hired help as soon as we could afford it, and my mental health has never been better.

Confessional #21970598

The best thing I ever did for my mental health was get a divorce.

Please don’t neglect your mental health—ever, not just during a global pandemic. But if there has ever been a time to have a long, in-depth look at your own well-being and address your needs, it’s now.

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