February 22, 2024

(KRON) – A lot of people might still be stuck in a mode of panic as they recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic.

And now, we are hearing about monkeypox cases popping up across the country and here in the Bay Area.

Anxiety can be tough to shake, and hopefully, monkeypox isn’t one more thing people feel they need to worry about.

There may be a lot anyone can fixate on, on any given day, but mental health expert Dr. Ruth White says it’s important to learn the actual risks and curb the worrying.

The World Health Organization said anxiety and depression went up 25% worldwide in the first year of the pandemic. Stress from social isolation was a huge factor.

Fast forward to now, and we’re seeing that young people, and women, were impacted the most.

Dr. White explains older adults have more life experience and have dealt with stress better than young adults.

Hearing about new health concerns, like monkeypox, may add to the anxiety, which Dr. White says shouldn’t be the case.

It’s not common and isn’t considered a major problem even in places where it is,

instead, Dr. White has this advice: 

 “share if you’re feeling down or if you’re feeling particularly anxious share with your family members or somebody that you trust. I say go to therapy, I’m a social worker, so go see a mental health professional if it’s hard for you to cope. And right now, just enjoy the summer that’s coming because nature is an antidepressant”, he told KRON4. “Hang out with your friends and be responsible with your partying and your fun but really enjoy the freedom and the fact that you did come through the pandemic.”

She admits we are all exhausted and adjusting back to everyday norms is strange.

Dr. White reminds us that each person is dealing with something different as COVID-19 is here to stay. They may be living with someone vulnerable or have a compromised immune system themselves.

She says we should be patient and respectful as we all decide on what works best for us.

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