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More people asking for mental health care due to COVID-19, psychologists say

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s been nearly seven months since the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. and Americans around the country are still struggling because of the pandemic.

While financial impacts have been common, that’s not the only negative result.

With no signs of the pandemic slowing, it’s starting to take a toll on people’s mental health.

Two clinical psychologists here in town say they are seeing a huge increase in mental health distress this year overall compared to years past.

“We are all tired of social distancing, we’re all tired of keeping apart, but really that’s what we have to do,” said Dr. Curtis Mattson, clinical psychologist at CoxHealth.

“There has definitely been an increase in teenagers suffering from the isolation and not being able to connect with their friends,” said Dr. Joyce Noble, a clinical psychologist at Mercy.

And the reason is COVID-19.

People are tired of social distancing and keeping apart from each other.

There is an obvious increase in teenagers suffering from isolation due to not being able to connect with their friends.

Plus, there are already so many stressors in our lives this year.

“Between the extra adjustments that need to be made at work, or dealing with children, in school,” said Noble.

There are extra adjustments needed at work, at school, the added stresses of the changing season, plus all the fires and hurricanes around the country don’t help with our mental health.

The clinical psychologists explain how you can tell if you or a loved one is suffering from depression symptoms.

“Watching for kids who are isolating themselves, spending most of their time online for various kinds of media, and refusing the opportunities they do have to go places and get out in the real world,”said Dr. Joyce Noble, a clinical psychologist with Mercy Psychology.

“Are the things that normally make them excited or made them happy, are those things just not working?” explained Dr. Curtis Mattson, a clinical psychologist at CoxHealth.

“They go to extreme measures to isolate, they tend to just overreact,” Dr. Mattson said.

The doctors said if you are experiencing depression, especially heading into the cold seasons, phototherapy or light therapy can help.

“This is something that is here, and it hasn’t gone away, we’re all in it together, so let’s make sure to take care of each other, get this problem solved,” said Mattson.

They are the frontline treatments for depression this time of year.

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