ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Mental health has been an ongoing topic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A clinical psychologist at the Renaissance Center in Albany said she saw a rise in anxiety and depression.
Dr. Rebecca Lockwood said when the pandemic started, masks affected many different things.
“I can remember at the start when I would go to get a child from the waiting room, they would be kind of freaked out with the mask on their face or looking at me like who’s this scary lady with the mask on her face kind of thing,” said Lockwood.
She said kids don’t flinch anymore.
“The biggest difference for me was that I lost half of your body language. There’s more anxiety, like even people who probably wouldn’t have problems with anxiety are now reporting a lot of anxiety and worry,” said Lockwood.
She said this is because they’re unable to do the things they would normally do to make themselves feel better.
Lockwood said because of CDC guidelines, she couldn’t recommend seeing family and friends in the usual way.
“Can you call them on the phone? Can you FaceTime them? Could you do a family Zoom call? Using technology as much as we can to help, but it’s not the same. So, it’s still trying to help people figure out a way to do it responsibly,” said Lockwood.
One of the biggest challenges throughout the pandemic, Lockwood pointed out, was connecting with people.
“The little things. Not being able to shake somebody’s hand when I meet them in the waiting room. Or when a kid wants to come gives me a hug on the way out the door, I have to say, ‘sorry, I can’t do that.’ That’s like a gut punch to have to do that to somebody,” said Lockwood.
Lockwood said one thing the pandemic brought forth is being able to help more people from any location virtually.