Anxiety impacts of the Coronavirus

Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 19:21:14-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We know about the symptoms of the coronavirus for those that have it. Now, medical experts are sharing advice for those that don't have it but may still be suffering as a result.

Whether it's your phone, TV, or out in the general public it's hard to escape hearing about the coronavirus. Dr. Lauren Edwards of Nebraska Med and UNMC says anxiety can sometimes be helpful in a public health scare because it can motivate you to keep yourself safe, but that can also be a thin line.

"The problem occurs when anxiety starts to lead you to fell more overwhelmed, fearful, or helpless," said Edwards.

Hearing about the number of cases and those in quarantine can cause concern for some, leading to feeling tense, trouble sleeping, or making you afraid to go outside.

"If anxiety is getting in the way of you going about your day to day routine right now, I think it's time to start thinking about ways to manage it a little bit better," said Edwards. "Right now, there are no recommendations that you don't get out and live your everyday life, and I think that we just need to trust our public health officials to guide us."

Helping decrease anxiety also comes in the form of practicing healthy habits like good hand washing among others.

"Make sure you're getting good quality sleep, eat healthy, and exercise regularly. [That] can actually help with not only physical health but with those physical manifestations of anxiety," said Edwards.

If you're looking up info on the disease, always check credible sources like the CDC and limit that consumption if you feel it's negatively impacting your anxiety.

"Make sure you're not letting fear guide your actions. You need to maybe check in with your mental health provider and just follow the recommendations of the authorities," said Edwards.

There are multiple resources you can call if you need help with any mental health concerns:

Behavioral Health Connection line at 402-836-9292.

Safe Harbor Peer Crisis (Omaha) at 402-715-4226

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

Coronavirus Resources and Information

Johns Hopkins global coronavirus tracker