Health experts believe anxiety and depression will become a national crisis following pandemic

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Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 9:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “I’ve had to juggle work and home schooling my kids and I have a one and half year old too. It’s just been a lot,” says Stephanie Strain.

As a mom of three young kids and a counselor at a school, Stephanie Strain knows life during the pandemic can be stressful.

“I do everything with skepticism, like we’re at the park today, so do you have your masks. I’m very conscious of our surroundings. I’m probably more on the anxious side about getting back to normal,” says Strain.

Strain’s feelings of anxiety are common right now.

“It’s all laced with uncertainty of what measures do we take to keep ourselves safe,” says Dr. Sabrina Starling.

Dr. Starling is a business psychologist. She says anxiety and depression, following the COVID-19 pandemic, could become a national crisis.

Dr. Starling points to what so many have had to deal with during the stay at home order and the uncertainty of the future.

“Even the most introverted among us have become lonely so loneliness is a real issue that is there and even as we start going back into social conventions, here in the south, we like to hug. That is off the table. We can’t do that anymore,” says Dr. Starling.

Dr. Starling says things that have helped us get through tough times in the past, like hugging, spending time with friends or attending funerals, can no longer happen. Now, she says many will have to find other ways to cope.

“We’re all trying to define what the new normal is and come to terms with it. People’s lives have changed and there are people who have lost their jobs,” says Dr. Starling.

From financial hardship to personal issues, depression and anxiety can set in before you know it.

“So we do need to open up the national conversation and normalize feelings of depression and anxiety,” says Dr. Starling.

“Yeah, I mean it’s hard. It really is and I feel for everyone out there. I think the most important thing is to use your support you have out there. Reach out to people even if it’s just a phone conversation. Lean on others. You can’t do this alone, that’s for sure,” says Strain.

Strain says she takes it one day at a time, and knows everything will be alright. Dr. Starling says for others, don’t be afraid to recognize If you need help.

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