UC Davis Health psychiatrist shares ‘self-monitoring’ mental health tips

VOICE CALL. EDIE: THE PANDEMIC HAS BEEN VERY HARD MENTALLY ON SO MANY WOMEN. WE’VE HEARD FROM MOTHERS WHO FELT OVEHERWED. AND WE’VE SEEN EVIDENCE OF HOW THE JOB MARKET AND CHILDCARE HAVE BEEN IMPACT.ED JOINING US NOW IS DOCTOR ANGELA DRAKE. SHE’S A PSYCHIATRIST WITH UC DAVIS HEAL.TH THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND TALK TO US ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN FIRSTHAND IN TERMS OF ETH IMPACT OF THIS LAST YEAR ON PEOPLE’S MENTAL HEALTH? >> I THINK YOU SEE A LOT OF CHANGES IN PEOPLE. PEOPLE WHO INITIALLY WERE RESILIENT AND REAYLL RALLIED TO GET THROUGH THE STRESS, AS IT CO NTINUED ON FOR MONTHS AND INTO TWO YEARS, PEOPLE HAVE HIT A WALL. THEY ARE SUFFERING MORE AND WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOKGIN FOR TREATMENT. EDIE: AS YOU POINT, HE T, THE IMPACT WAS DIFFERENT? WHAT ADVICE? >> THE PANDEMIC HAS MADE A PERFECT STORM. IT IS NOT THAT WERE A UNDER LONG-TERM STRESS IT IS WE ARE DISCONNECTED ANDSO ITED FROM OUR SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS. ONE OF THE THINGS I EMPHASIZE WITH FOLKS IS TO SELF MONITOR. BECAUSE YOU MAY NOT BE SEEING FRIENDS AS OFTEN OR FAMILY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE IN TOUCH WITH YOURWN O EMOTIONS. HOW YOU ARE DOING, ARE YOU NOTICING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR INABILITY? YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING AS WELL? YOU ARE LOSING YOUR TEMPER? AGAIN, THE BEST THING THAT I REALLY RECOMMEND FOR PEOPLE IS TO REACH OUT AND GET CONNECTED WITH SOMEONE IF THEY ARE NOTICING CHANGES. EDIE: LET US TALK ABOUT THERE BE. — THERAPY. WOMEN ARE LAST IN LINE FOR SELF-CARE AND FINDING THE TIME TO DRIVE TO AN APPOINTMENT AND WEIGH IN, IT CAN BE A BARRIER. YOU ARE NOW DOING MORE OF THESE APPOINTMENTS ORVE ZOOM AND TELEHEALTH. HOW’S THAT WORKING? >> WE REALLY RAPIDLY WENT TO TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS AT UC DAVIS, AS SOON AS WE CLOSED FOR THE PANDEMIC. WE HAVE HAD A CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE WITH IT NOW, ALMOST TWO YEARS, I HAVE TO SAY IT HAS WORKED WELL. IT HAS WORKED WELL FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO PARK. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO DRIVE ON THE FREEWAY OR DO THE THINGS WE OFTEN HAVE TO DO TO GET TO AN APPOINTMENT. THEY CAN SET UP THEIR COMPUTER IN THEIR LIVING ROOM AND I HAVE HAD PATIENTS WHO HAVE DONE SESSIONS FROM THEIR PHONE IN THEIR CAR. TH LVEEAEY WORK AND GO OUT TO THE CAR AND GO FOR HALF AN HOUR OR 45 MINUTES SO THEY CAN WORK IT INTO THEIR DAYN IA SEAMLESS WAY. IN SOME WAYS IT IS VERY COMFTIORNG BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THE PERSON IS THERE BUT THEY ARE NOT RIGHT THERE. IT GIVES PEOPLE DISTANCE. IT IS KIND OF SCARY TO GO INTO A THERAPIST OFFICE. EDIE: YOU HEAV THE FLEXIBILITY AND GET THE HELP THAT YOU NEE

‘People have really hit a wall’: UC Davis Health psychiatrist shares ‘self-monitoring’ mental health tips

UC Davis psychiatrist Dr. Angela Drake joined KCRA 3 as part of the Project CommUNITY special for Women’s History Month to talk about the pandemic impacts that women have faced. on people’s mental health? Drake: “I think you see a lot of changes in people. People who initially were resilient and really kind of rallied to get through the stress, as it continued on for months and into two years, people have really hit a wall. They are suffering more and we are seeing a lot of people looking for treatment at this point.”As you point out the first year, it was like, ‘OK, we’re going to get through this.’ Into a second year, the impact was different. What advice do you have for people who have felt overwhelmed or isolated? Drake: “The pandemic has made a perfect storm. It’s not just that we are under considerable long-term stress. It is also that we are disconnected and isolated from our social support networks. One of the things I really emphasize with folks is to self-monitor. Because you may not be seeing friends as often or family, it’s really important to be in touch with your own emotions. How are you doing, are you noticing problems with your irritability? You are not sleeping as well? You are losing your temper? Again, the best thing that I really recommend for people is to reach out and get connected with someone if they are noticing changes.” Let’s talk about therapy. Women are last in line for self-care and finding the time to drive to an appointment — it can be a barrier. You are now doing more of these appointments over Zoom and telehealth. How’s that working? Drake: “We really rapidly went to telehealth appointments at UC Davis, as soon as we closed for the pandemic. We’ve had considerable experience with it now, almost two years. I have to say it has worked really well. It has worked well for our customers. Because they do not have to park. They do not have to drive on the freeway or do the things we often have to do to get to an appointment. They can set up their computer in their living room and I have even had patients who have done sessions from their phones in their cars. They leave work and go out to the car and go for half an hour or 45 minutes so they can work it into their day in a really seamless way. In some ways, it is very comforting because you know that the person is there but they are not right there. It gives people a little distance. It is kind of scary to go into a therapist’s office.”

UC Davis psychiatrist Dr. Angela Drake joined KCRA 3 as part of the Project CommUNITY special for Women’s History Month to talk about the pandemic impacts that women have faced.

Talk to us about what you have seen firsthand in terms of the impact of this last year on people’s mental health?

Drake: “I think you see a lot of changes in people. People who initially were resilient and really kind of rallied to get through the stress, as it continued on for months and into two years, people have really hit a wall. They are suffering more and we are seeing a lot of people looking for treatment at this point.”

As you point out the first year, it was like, ‘OK, we’re going to get through this.’ Into a second year, the impact was different. What advice do you have for people who have felt overwhelmed or isolated?

Drake: “The pandemic has made a perfect storm. It’s not just that we are under considerable long-term stress. It is also that we are disconnected and isolated from our social support networks. One of the things I really emphasize with folks is to self-monitor. Because you may not be seeing friends as often or family, it’s really important to be in touch with your own emotions. How are you doing, are you noticing problems with your irritability? You are not sleeping as well? You are losing your temper? Again, the best thing that I really recommend for people is to reach out and get connected with someone if they are noticing changes.”

Let’s talk about therapy. Women are last in line for self-care and finding the time to drive to an appointment — it can be a barrier. You are now doing more of these appointments over Zoom and telehealth. How’s that working?

Drake: “We really rapidly went to telehealth appointments at UC Davis, as soon as we closed for the pandemic. We’ve had considerable experience with it now, almost two years. I have to say it has worked really well. It has worked well for our customers. Because they do not have to park. They do not have to drive on the freeway or do the things we often have to do to get to an appointment. They can set up their computer in their living room and I have even had patients who have done sessions from their phones in their cars. They leave work and go out to the car and go for half an hour or 45 minutes so they can work it into their day in a really seamless way. In some ways, it is very comforting because you know that the person is there but they are not right there. It gives people a little distance. It is kind of scary to go into a therapist’s office.”

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