U-M Mental Health Expert Talks About Dealing With Anxiety & Depression Fueled By Coronavirus Spread

Mar 25, 2020

Dr. Melvin McInnis, director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research program at the University of Michigan Depression Center
Credit Michigan Medicine / medicine.umich.edu

It's difficult not to feel emotionally uneasy in light of the spreading coronavirus and the impact trying to stop the spread is having on our lives.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Melvin McInnis, director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program at the University of Michigan Depression Center, about ways to make sure we are staying emotionally healthy in these difficult times.

Dr. McInnis says the uncertainty from the coronavirus fuels our anxiety and stress, adding depression and worry often go hand-in-hand and can be expected at a time like this.  He points out though that depression can cause someone to feel truly overwhelmed and unable to look after themselves or their ability to function or move forward. and sometimes even become bedridden.  Compared with anxiety or worry, which is more about feeling unable to move through the day, Dr. McInnis suggests if you're feeling depressed or overly anxious, you contact a health care professional.

He says sleep becomes even more important in these times of stress, adding "paying attention to one's sleep patterns at this time is fundamental."

He says one way to better deal with the negative emotions the health pandemic we're experiencing right now is by having a routine and make sure you are interacting with the world...from a distance as advised.

You can follow the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program on Facebook.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu