October 7, 2021
by Dr. Stacey Donelson, DACM

Anxiety and Depression During a Plague

It has been an incredibly challenging 18 months. We had hoped that America could rise to the occasion and eliminate the latest viral pathogenic invasion, but it turns out that is not to be the case. As a result, we are going into another winter of uncertainty. This endless uncertainty is wearing all on us, and the cracks are beginning to show.

For us personally, it has been difficult because we treat patients who have had Covid, and we have seen several cases in which long-covid and even death have been the outcome. At times it has been exceedingly difficult to stay upbeat in such a challenging environment. Whereas early in the pandemic the virus changed slowly and predictably, and our Chinese herbal formulas were incredibly effective, now the virus changes incredibly quickly and targets many systems at the same time – requiring a more active and quickly adjust Chinese formula protocol. We are seeing with the new, more virulent variants, patients who had been healthy and productive are ending up in the hospital, and we have had patients who have passed away.

A normal reaction to all of this is to become depressed, anxious, and just want to hunker down. If this is how you or your loved ones are feeling it is completely understandable. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help by providing the necessary super-charged healing time to allow your body to recover from the constant stress.

We have had several cases of younger patients who have attempted suicide, and they described their thinking process as muddled and unable to focus. When they get to Children’s Hospital there is a lengthy admittance wait because there are so many children suffering that the Psych Unit is full. We listened to our patients and their family and created a plan to help the young person by using herbs and acupuncture for calming the central nervous system. The transformation has been remarkable. After three treatments previously unresponsive young people described feeling more connected, more interested and are even reaching out to instructors to become member of an advanced science team at school! Utterly amazing!

In addition to suicide prevention, we are also treating garden-variety depression in all ages. It is a challenging time and our ability to connect with each other is strained. Our request to the Good Life Family: be extra observant; if you can, reach out and interact more than usual. Go beyond your normal effusive optimism and praise in your communications and daily interactions with others. Do not brush someone off when they say they are “fine.” Make sure they are doing all right by asking open-ended questions like “tell me what you are doing to take care of yourself” or “how are you managing to hold up so well?”

This is an opportunity for us to come together as a vibrant and loving community and support one another in a new and up-leveled way.