Local Psychologist discusses what to look out for those suffering from anxiety amid the pandmic


(WTNH) — It’s no secret the COVID pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of many. But for those with pre-existing anxiety disorders, it’s more complicated. News 8 spoke with a psychologist from Hartford HealhCare’s Institute of Living about what to watch out for and how to help someone.

What kind of impact has COVID had on anxiety disorders? Dr Scott Hannon answers, “I think really three main impacts. First of all, our bodies are designed to handle stress in short term periods. With the pandemic this has been going on for a full year so long term stressers can lead to higher anxiety, depression, sleep problems, gastrointestinal problems.”

What are some of the common anxiety disorders?

“You have excessive worry maybe on typical things like the day, your future. We see social anxiety where people are worried about embarrassing themselves in front of other people. You have panic disorder where you worry about the physiological symptoms of anxiety.”

“One of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorder is this cognitive behavioral therapy behavior, where we help people learn to change the way they think but also how to confront that fear so the brain changes their response so when they’re faced with that situation they don’t feel that intense anxiety anymore.”

Hartford HealthCare wants to get the word out about help for anxiety because it can be so debilitating. They are holding have a virtual webinar Tuesday night. You can sign up here.

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