Social distancing: How to deal with our new isolation culture and maintain mental health

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The reality of the world’s new culture of isolation — and that well-known buzzword, social distancing — has led medical experts to speak up about mental health and depression.

Social distancing means staying at least six feet away from one another and avoiding groups of more than 10 people.

“Humans are wired to be social creatures … and that’s how we cope when a big disaster happens,” said Northwest University social science professor Judith Moskowitz. “Now, we’re being told to cope with this… by staying away from each other.”

NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres says social isolation can lead to mental health issues or can worsen existing ones, especially as they get older.

The Centers for Disease Control has also urged anyone who is considering harming themselves because of depression or anxiety to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-985-5990.

Torres says people should do what they can to reach out to those around them.

“Use social media,” Torres suggested. “Simply get with people on Skype or Facetime, people you haven’t seen in 10 years, to get those connections back through the media, through those social networks. On top of that, plain old phone calls. Get on the phone, talk to them, that will make you so much better.”

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