• Claudia Abalo, LMHC

Isolation causes depression and depression causes isolation.

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor it is my professional opinion that we need to end the stay-at-home period as soon as possible.

If you take a moment to think of the bad things happening around us, they outweigh contracting the virus:

- Isolation causes depression, and depression sometimes leads to suicidal ideation.

-Jobs are being lost, therefore many are losing their sense of purpose which also leads to depression.

- Adults and children are being abused even more so because they're home with their abusers which not only leads to depression, anxiety, PTSD and more but can be fatal.

- The economy is dwindling along with retirement funds like 401k. So the future looks bleak for many, especially for those about to retire which may not have the time to recover their retirement funds also leading to depression and anxiety.

- Many are experiencing fears they never have before so they stock up on unnecessary amounts of food/supplies which can lead to Hoarding.

- People are washing their hands more often, using hand sanitizer more often, and disinfecting their homes more often, which can lead to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

- Many people may be experiencing fears to go outside after this period is over, which can lead to agoraphobia.

- Children are stuck in homes with no food, with parents that are either unable to provide or stuck in a home where they are be neglected altogether.

- Staying home and not being able to escape to their favorite places may cause many to turn to substances to escape or cope which can lead to a myriad of consequences. Staying home can also cause relapses of substance use disorders.

- Relationships are being tested and/or strained; marriages, parents and children, siblings, in-laws they may not get along with, etc.

-Persons that identify as LGBTQ or Transgender may be in homes where they are not accepted, are judged, and/or abused because of who they are.

- Persons that take care of an ill child, ill partner, or ill parent/grandparent are forced to experience caregiver fatigue in greater amounts.

- Teachers, Parents and students are being forced to teach/learn in a different way which they may not like, be comfortable with or simply do not understand.

- High School Seniors are being forced to put their end-of-the year events either on hold or forget about them altogether.

I'm sure there are more negative effects from this stay-at-home period that I have not thought of. Also one may think that all of these things happen everyday but now these feelings and behaviors are exacerbated due to the stay-at-home period. We have to take a moment to think, "what is greater, the fear of contracting the virus or the effects we will ensure in the aftermath?"

Countries have exercised stay-at-home instructions out of fear that hospitals will be inundated with patients but many hospitals are empty and staff hours are being cut.

Yes we should protect ourselves and our families but in my opinion we are avoiding the inevitable until a vaccine is created. We also have to remember that when the vaccine comes out, we nor the government can force everyone to get it, so the virus will still be out there, contractible. It is my opinion that it is time to let nature take its course. Continuing the stay-at-home period, in my opinion, will lead to a larger amount of problems down the line.

I am praying for our country, our leaders, our first responders, our teachers, parents, students, and for resolve sooner than later.

Claudia Abalo, LMHC

P.S. If you find that you are experiencing any of the above, and are 13 y/o or older, please contact me at White Dove Counseling 407-561-2174