CU professors say we could be more vulnerable to depression, anxiety

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DENVER (KDVR) — Experts say stay-at-home orders could make people more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.

“Experiences like depression and anxiety are common in our world today,” Dr. Sona Dimidjian of the University of Colorado said.

“Isolation puts us at a greater risk of anxiety and depression related [issues],” University of Colorado Associate Professor Joanna Arch said.

The two professors have been studying mindfulness as a coping strategy for anxiety and depression.

“When we’re anxious, our brain narrows in on the threat,” Arch said. “When we push things away, they can come back stronger.

“What mindfulness does is it helps us stay grounded in the present moment,” Dimidjian said. “Try not to take in the vastness of all that’s happening, just the present.”

The psychologists recommend stepping back and observing anxious or upsetting thoughts, instead of engaging with them.

“Name it to tame it,” Arch said “[Example] oh, that’s probably anxiety. I’m one of [many] people that are feeling this right now.”

The two stress reaching out to friends and family is critical to mental health, in addition to projects and exercise.

Additional resources for yourself or a loved one are available.

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