March 5, 2022

Many still struggle with mental & emotional recovery 2 years after COVID-19 pandemic

Michelle Riba, M.D., is quoted in this WXYZ Detroit article

Link to the original article


Dr. Michelle Riba, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said in addition to a rise in anxiety and depression during the pandemic, we saw an increase in substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Those will take even longer to heal.

"There have been so many complex and complicated issues going on for all of us, actually," Riba said.

She added that younger people, women and people of color have been hit hard. The physical and emotional trauma and economic insecurity from the pandemic make it harder to bounce back. In fact, the trauma could reemerge from lesser more common triggers like stress at work or trouble making ends meet. But the symptoms remain largely internal

"Trouble sleeping and they would have fitful dreams and nightmares that would affect their mood and concentration," Riba said.

Or, a change in sleeping and eating habits, and isolation from friends. When these symptoms return, we may not realize we are suffering the lingering emotional impacts of the pandemic.

"It's really important to try to ask the question, what's going on?" she said.

Also, she said to watch for signs of mental and emotional distress as we move forward, in both ourselves and those around us.