Signs your anxiety about coronavirus has turned dark

By Sandee LaMotte

Published May 12, 2020


In the age of coronavirus, many people around the world are facing an anxiety-ridden reality. While some of us may be coping well right now, experts worry our emotional resilience will begin to fray as the threat of Covid-19 drags on.

These are some of the signs that our coping skills are becoming threadbare and our anxieties may turn dark and more dangerous.


Poor sleep

Not only does anxiety create poor sleep, a lack of quality sleep can lead to anxiety, stress and depression, a sort of circular impact. The good news is that exercise and practicing good sleep hygiene can often help get us back on track.


A focus on bad news

As we shelter in place, a focus on watching alarming media reports on the growth of the virus and the devastation to the economy is another warning flag, according to trauma psychologist Shauna Springer.


Loss of interest and pleasure

An even more serious sign, Springer said, is when we lose the taste for connection to others and stop reaching out to friends and family.


Helplessness or crippling anxiety

If the current threat of Covid-19 has reawakened feelings of helplessness, that can also be a key sign of risk, experts said.


Thoughts of suicide

Being so hopeless and anxious that we begin to think of ending our life is, of course, a sign that immediate professional help is needed, experts said.


What to do to help yourself

  • Reach out and connect, just not physically.

  • Breathe deeply.

  • Practice gratitude.

  • Take control of your mental state.

  • Establish a schedule.

  • Be careful with media, especially social media.

  • Crack a smile.

  • Stay optimistic.


How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.