BROCKPORT-Mental health throughout the pandemic has been a major problem for many people. The struggle of not being able to interact with friends and relatives as much, communicating electronically and for many, the financial burden that COVID-19 has caused, has led people to feeling depressed and lonely.
For Paige Hirsh, a single mom that has struggled to make ends meet, she has been struggling with her mental health during the pandemic.
“Trying to get in to see my doctors has been a serious issue during the pandemic. I’ve felt extreme paranoia because I also have a heart condition and am afraid of catching the virus,” said Hirsh.
Hirsh also has been dealing with a custody battle during the pandemic to try to gain custody of her son. On top of trying to battle for custody of her 3-year-old son in court, she has been trying to find a job in the pandemic. This has been difficult with trying to deal with her depression and anxiety at the same time.
Yet Hirsh continues to take it one day at a time and tries to remain positive despite all of the negativity that the pandemic has brought.
“I continually applied to different jobs and they kept falling through. I felt helpless and was worried how I would get by on top of trying to fight in court for my son and make it to my medical appointments,” said Hirsh. “I was afraid to go out during the pandemic and I had to get bloodwork for the longest time but kept prolonging it, but I found support through my friends and they really helped me.”
The custody battle hasn’t gone the way she had hoped, but Hirsh is not giving up and will keep trying. She also finally landed a job and continues to try to remain positive throughout the pandemic.
“I know with my mental health I have continually battled with it and it is important to seek help out for it when you are struggling. Reaching out to friends and family that support you has been a huge help for me and I probably wouldn’t keep trying if it weren’t for them,” said Hirsh.
Hirsh also has her support dog to help reduce her anxiety when she is alone. She enjoys getting outside and going on walks with her.
The pandemic has caused a lot of stress for people financially, socially and mentally. Trying to stay positive while feeling isolated from people and shielded by a mask in public has made it very difficult. Many people have lost their jobs, children have had to stay away from their friends in school, and hospital workers and other essential workers have been pushed to the limits.
Hirsh believes that being able to seek out help is important for being able to get through the pandemic. Now that she is able to see her therapist in person again, it has gotten easier, but it has been a challenge with phone calls with and video calls with her health care providers.
The pandemic has been stressful and has caused a lot of fear and anxiety in people. Dealing with this stress in healthy ways and seeking out help when needed is what can help bring people together during these difficult times.