Mental health issues hit all-time highs during COVID-19 pandemic
Seven months into the pandemic, mental health continues to be one of its challenges - with numbers hitting all-time highs.
Jocelyn DeCrescenzo, of Valley Cottage, says she has been fighting clinical depression most of her life, but new reports agree that forced isolation from the pandemic is fueling new record highs.
Mental Health America confirmed that use of its online resources for depression peaked in September -- up nearly 900%.
"For people who are on the edge with their depression, anxiety and other things it's not a good thing," says DeCrescenzo.
Symptoms include difficulty waking up, changes in sleeping and eating habits, irritability and mood swings, difficulty feeling joy and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts.
"There are resources out there, including at MHA. And say, 'Here's what's going on, do you think this is something I should be concerned about?'" says Mental Health Association of Rockland executive vice president Sonia Wagner.
With winter and seasonal depression on the horizon, mental health professionals say the best treatment is a proactive plan, including a regular exercise regimen, avoiding triggers, weekly calls with friends or family, and regular sessions with a therapist.
"We're all survivors of some kind. We hit moments where we just need someone else," says Wagner.