Take the Covid Mental Health Negative Impact Test
Whilst some people have really been able to adjust to our current situation I’m aware that many people are experiencing new and difficult feelings. Whether related to family life, work pressures, fears about the future or the infection itself, it’s understandably a worrying time for almost all of us.
Different things are helping different people; some have a natural resilience, some have an ’emotional toolkit’ in place and others are finding additional support (talking therapies) really useful.
Essentially I’ve created this test to help you to identify how much this situation is affecting you and have provided further guidance (below) on how to improve the impact of any unwanted feelings.
Taking the Test
Below are 30 feelings such as ‘bored’, ‘powerless’ and ‘lonely’.
Consider which ones are relevant to you. No doubt you’ll be able to identify with many of them but the idea is to pick out the ones that are impacting you more than usual. A good way to check this is to consider how strong the feelings have been on a scale of 1-10. For example, 3 would be an awareness of a mildly unpleasant feeling whereas 8-10 would be a very strong sensation.
Aim to pick out the feelings on the list that are either persistent, distressing or problematic.
Make a note or keep a tally of each feeling that applies to you at the moment.
Then at the end, count up how many you’ve recorded.
Check the guide scores at the bottom of this post where you will find ideas and recommendations to further support you.
I have provided examples underneath each feeling. Rather than seeing them as a criteria, I’ve added them as a guide to help you get in touch with your emotions. You may connect with the feeling but not the examples that I have listed, which is fine because everyone’s examples will be different.
You are welcome to share this ‘test’ and post your score (remember to keep yourself emotionally safe).
You are welcome to contact me if you would like therapeutic support with any of these emotions.
“Every day is the same, it’s so dull.”
“It’s so hard to stay motivated.”
“I don’t know what to do with myself.”
“Doing the same thing every day means even the things that were stimulating me, aren’t anymore.”
“I don’t want to catch the virus and die.”
“I don’t want my family to die.”
“I don’t want to be forced back into society too soon.”
“I don’t want to be vaccinated.”
“This isn’t what I had expected 2020 to be.”
“I feel like we won’t have a summer this year.”
“I thought we would have been back to normal by now.”
“I’m missing out on so much.”
“I miss my friends and family.”
“I haven’t had a hug in over two months.”
“I miss going to work.”
“I miss real connections with real people.”
“How on earth did it come to this?”
“The economy is ruined.”
“We’ve been robbed of essential social contact; especially children and vulnerable adults.”
“All of the hard work I put in has gone.”
“Selfish people are risking the safety and lives of everyone else.”
“The virus has been so badly handled.”
“I find this situation ridiculous.”
“I wish the government would just make definitive decisions so that we knew where we stood.”
“It really gets under my skin when I see people bending and breaking the rules.”
“The daily updates and the endless news is so repetitive.”
“I think I’m going to be able to pay all of the essential bills but I’m not totally sure.”
“I have no idea what my future looks like anymore.”
“My family member still has to work and every time they leave the house I worry they’ll bring the virus back in with them.”
“I’m not sure how I’m meant to come out the other side of this.”
“To start with I loved being at home with the kids but now I’m finding it so hard to keep them stimulated and entertained.”
“I’m lacking stimulation and it’s doing my head in.”
“I wish I knew what to do with myself.”
“My family / partner / kids are starting to do my head in.”
“I want to help and do my part but I’ve been told it’s safer for me to stay at home.”
“I feel like I’m making no positive contribution whatsoever.”
“I have no idea what I’m meant to do.”
“I just hope the government are going to see that I’m alright, because I have no way of supporting myself through this.”
“I need time to myself but there is an expectation to join in with the people I live with.”
“I have to buy food and shop for essentials but people look at me like I shouldn’t be out.”
“My kids need constant entertainment, but I have no idea how to keep them happy or occupied.”
“It’s just constant nagging and complaining.”
“I feel deeply uncomfortable every time I need to leave my house.”
“Nowhere feels safe anymore.”
“I feel nervous all of the time for no apparent reason.”
“I don’t even feel safe in my own home.”
“The rules and the wording are so ambiguous.”
“I don’t know what I am allowed to do and I don’t know how to achieve clarity.”
“The messages are so unclear and contradictory.”
“I don’t understand how this is okay.”
“I’m making the most of ‘lockdown’ it hasn’t financially impacted me and I’m healthy. When I see other people struggling and suffering I feel so guilty that I’m not negatively affected.”
“I know I’m meant to stay at home, but I went out and now I feel so guilty.”
“What if my panic buying impacted others not being able to provide for their family?”
“Before I was diagnosed, I was going out. What if I contributed to the spread of the virus, what if people have died because of me?”
“Talking to people online isn’t the same as seeing them in person.”
“I feel cut off from everyone.”
“Since my positive diagnosis people have treated me differently.”
“I have no-one.”
“I have no control over my life anymore.”
“I don’t feel like I can make decisions anymore.”
“I’m having to live in a way that I don’t want to live.”
“I’m having to do things that I don’t want to do.”
“There’s no point.”
“I don’t care about anything anymore.”
“I don’t care about myself.”
“I feel empty inside.”
“I stocked the house to provide for my family but I feel judged for that decision.”
“I don’t believe that we should have to social distance but I feel like others look down on me for feeling that way.”
“I’ve broken some of the lockdown rules but I couldn’t possibly tell anyone.”
“I don’t feel like I can express my true feelings on social media because other people wouldn’t approve.
“This situation is getting too much for me.”
“I can’t take much more of this.”
“I’m done with this, it’s unbearable.”
“I’m at my wits end with all of this.”
“I hate this situation.”
“I hate the way this is making me feel.”
“I hate what this has done to my life.”
“I have such strong hatred towards others, especially the people who’ve been breaking the rules.”
“I’d rather be dead than live like this.”
“I am going out of my mind.”
“I feel like I am losing my mind.”
“This situation is making me want to hurt myself.”
“I’ve washed my hands so many times my skin is sore.”
“I’m cleaning excessively, I can’t stop for intense fear of contamination.”
“I must wash absolutely everything that comes into my home as I can’t risk the virus getting in.”
“I’ve got new routines and rituals that are concerning the people around me.”
“I’m watching and reading the news continuously, I can’t turn it off despite finding it distressing.”
Note: the examples for this point are when health and safety measures go beyond that of the recommended guidance, to the point at which they become uncontrollable compulsions. If you are paying additional attention to cleanliness in order to protect someone vulnerable or for general safety precautions as recommended by health experts, then this does not constitute being obesessed.
“It breaks my heart to see the suffering this has caused.”
“The hurt I’m experiencing is overwhelming but people just expect me to get on with it.”
“I’ve lost people I care about.”
“I feel like I’m in a constant state of sadness.”
“I was so desperate to see them, I broke the rules.”
“I was so desperate I went for a drive.”
“I was struggling so much I just had to get out.”
“I’ve made bad decisions because I’ve felt so desperate.”
“I’m worried that people I care about will die.”
“I’m worried that I’ll lose everything.”
“I’m worried that life will never be the same again.”
“I’m worried that we are heading for a major recession.”
“There aren’t provisions for people in my situation.”
“There aren’t solutions for people like me.”
“No one cares about me, they see me as inferior.”
“People in my situation aren’t being looked after.”
“My health is a major concern.”
“My carers could bring the virus into my home.”
“My partner is really unpredictable.”
“People in my home are constantly coming and going.”
“I can’t remember the last time I laughed.”
“What is there to be happy about at the moment.”
“I feel so fed-up.”
“I’m crying much more than normal.”
“There is something much bigger at play here, I’m convinced of it.”
“I feel like this is the start of the end.”
“The conspiracies are true.”
“I’m going to die.”
“I don’t feel like I am coping.”
“I don’t know how to make this okay.”
“I don’t know what to do for the best.”
“I feel negative most of the time.”
“I’m done with this now.”
“I’ve lost all interest.”
“I just don’t even care anymore.”
Less than 5 (Coping reasonably well) – Overall you are probably managing things pretty well. Try noticing the things that are really helping and aim to do more of the same. Where this test has highlighted your specific emotional challenges, it’s perhaps worth considering if you can transfer any of your skills / coping strategies from other areas to help you to mange the unwanted emotions.
Between 5 -10 (Coping is a bit of a challenge) – Overall things probably feel a bit up and down. Some days might be really good whereas other days might feel much tougher. It’s really important to be kind to yourself on the difficult days. One way to cope with this is to make a list of the things that you know to be helpful when you are having a tough day. Then when you feel particularly low or overwhelmed, you can turn to your pool of pre-prepared resources.
It’s also possible that just a few therapy sessions could really ease the effects of the difficult emotions that you are facing at the moment.
Between 10 – 20 (Struggling to cope) – Overall the situation probably feels really emotionally draining. Your energy levels and enthusiasm might be at an all time low, motivation might be hard to find and maintain and your mood might feel wobbly to say the least. If you can, hit pause and take a step back. Consider if there there any big changes that you can make which might help. For example is now a good time to make the most of the daily exercise provision, would a new hobby provide a welcomed distraction and most importantly is your support network strong? In addition to these ideas it would probably be a good idea to consider getting some additional therapeutic help or support as soon as possible.
Between 20 – 30 (Not coping) – Overall the situation might feel like its taken over. You might feel like you’ve lost all sense of emotional control and be experiencing many strong and unwanted feelings. If you are noticing signs of depression, extreme anxiety, increased aggression, a desire to self-harm, suicidal ideation or other intrusive thoughts or unwanted behavious it’s recommended that you speak to your GP as soon as possible. If the situation becomes an emergency A&E offer 24hour psychological services and the Samaritans offer a 24 hour telephone support service (call 116 123). After medical advice has been sought counselling / therapy would be recommend as an ongoing source of support, as a matter of priority.
The important thing to remember is that no matter how COVID is negatively affecting you there are ways of coping, people are always there to support you and therapy can always help, so you really don’t have to suffer in silence or alone.