CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Life has been unprecedented for most of us , with many changes including quarantine, job loss, and untimely deaths, not knowing when any of this will end.
“I think that's what made this so difficult, is we don’t know how long this is going to be going on, and it seems like every day has become groundhog day, it’s another day that is stressful,” said Dr. Alise Bartley, with The Community Counseling Center at Florida Gulf Coast University.
However, on top of the pandemic, now we add another unknown factor, Election 2020.
“It’s with political signs, it’s when we go to the grocery store or any type of store people are making a statement because this is an opportunity for people to take their power back,” said Bartley.
Dr. Alise Bartley at FGCU says the pandemic and the upcoming election has caused many of us to feel incredibly overwhelmed and stressful, leading to consequences with our mental health
“We have an alarming rate of anxiety and depression. Our depression rates before COVID and anxiety rates were like 6 -8 % of the population. I’m hearing as high as 60 % of the population are struggling with depression or anxiety or both,” said Bartley.
Bartley says stress is cumulative, but there are ways to de-stress.
“Maybe it’s going for a walk or listening to music or calling a friend, but each of us has to identify that. On another note we need to be certain we’re making those choices long term that are best for us,” said Bartley.
Bartley says the first step is reaching out to someone who can help.
“You don’t have to suffer in silence please talk to your doctor, and ask them to make some recommendations in regard to mental health providers,” said Bartley.