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Anxiety, depression, insomnia: Self-isolation takes a mental toll

For anyone who feels they need to reach out to someone, there’s a hotline that will put you in touch with a counselor. That number is 1-866-310-7977

WASHINGTON PARISH, La. — As a mother of three boys in Washington Parish, Shantelle Williams, like most folks these days, is balancing a new type of home life with lots of worries on the outside.  

“With everything that’s been going on right now I’ve been forgetting my name. I forget the boys names half the time because I’m so stressed out trying to figure out what’s my next move,” Williams said.

Already dealing with anxiety, depression and insomnia, Williams says she takes the warnings about coronavirus seriously. She follows the recommended guidelines, while trying to keep her family’s mental health in check.

“My oldest son, for the most part, he’s more to himself. So, he’s my main concern because of his mental state. Because he worries a lot. He worries about life and he worries about me," Williams said. "I’m dealing with an overprotective 17-year-old."

Doctor Kelly Bolger, a clinical phycologist at Garden District Mental Health in Uptown New Orleans says checking in on yourself during any type of isolation or quarantine is crucial.

“It’s such an odd novel set of circumstances, we don’t really know how we’re going to react,” Bolger said. “If you’re sort of feeling out of sorts, or not feeling like yourself, I would reach out to people right away, therapist, psychiatrist, social workers.”

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Bolger says things like exercise, art, or virtual chats are ways to release stressful tension. With everyday stress factors amplified during a time of staying at home, Williams says living in this new reality of unknowns has her paying closer attention.

“I’m not one to worry about myself. But for the most part, I worry about my kids, I worry about my mom, I worry about my siblings because we’re all scattered,” Williams said.

For anyone who feels they need to reach out to someone, there’s a hotline that will put you in touch with a counselor. That number is 1-866-310-7977.

Counselors are available 24/7 and can guide you to any mental health services you may need.

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