I feel that the measures introduced to combat the Covid-19 outbreak have had a terrible impact on my mental health.
I wasn’t in a particularly good place before all of this, in my mid fifties, living alone, family 200 miles away, with a demanding job (local authority, key worker) however I had a number of coping strategies. These included treating myself to a meal out occasionally, or going out just for a few drinks twice a week, or meeting friends, or having a day out on my own at the seaside. I also loved my annual holiday – a week in Cornwall in early autumn – which was so important to me.
Due to the pandemic I haven’t been able (& when the restrictions were relaxed in the summer, I no longer felt confident) to do any of these things. I haven’t had a meal out, or been for a drink, or seen friends, or family, or had a day out, since early March. I cancelled my holiday too.
I’m very fortunate in that the restrictions haven’t meant that my job’s been threatened, however I’ve been incredibly busy with work since the pandemic started & that’s been very stressful & pressured. Working all hours, at home, working on days which I’ve booked as annual leave too. I feel as if I haven’t had any sort of break at all since Christmas 2019.
I now feel awful – burnt out, very depressed, exhausted – but the work just keeps coming & all of my pleasures / coping strategies have been taken away. I have some very noisy & inconsiderate neighbours & can now only escape the stress they cause if I go to the shops or for a walk, there’s just nowhere else to go. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.
Christmas can be a difficult time due to a family bereavement on Boxing Day a few years ago. It’s already obvious to me that Christmas 2020 will be particularly hard because, due to the pandemic, I won’t be going out anywhere, won’t be seeing family & won’t be seeing friends. Just stuck in the house, on my own.
It’s been getting to the point during the last months where my life’s no longer worth living. It’s simply become nothing more than an “existence” – with all of my pleasures taken away, yet vastly increased stress due to all of the extra pressure which the pandemic has caused within my job & incarcerated at home with more stress caused by the neighbours from whom I can no longer escape for a while. It’s horrible.
I really am trying so hard to carry on & keep going – but it’s becoming increasingly difficult after nearly 9 months of restrictions, taking away all of the things which I used to enjoy with all the additional stress & pressure too. This is the worst time of my life & I’m so worried that, when we do come out of the restrictions, I won’t be the same person that I was before because I feel that this has damaged my mental health so badly.
I’m also very fearful of the future, having suffered from mild anxiety for a number of years & now extremely worried about how we’ll be expected to pay for the cost of the pandemic – & the impact of that on my financial position for the remainder of my life.
I just feel that the bottom’s fallen out of my world & I’m increasingly concerned about my current mental state, plus the long term impact of all of this on my mental health.