How your mental health can affect your immune system

3 days 21 hours 49 minutes ago Tuesday, June 30 2020 Jun 30, 2020 Tuesday, June 30, 2020 11:17:44 AM CDT June 30, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Source: CNN
By: Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) -- Visaysha Harris had big plans when the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. Her college graduation and a move to New York were about to mark the beginning of her new life.

Instead, the 22-year-old has been mostly isolated at her mother's home in Gwinnett County, Georgia, while facing an unexpected toll on her mental health.

"The end of March, beginning of April, I stayed in my room," Harris told CNN. "My body just wasn't processing my new normal. I was sad, I was depressed. I just felt so terrible about everything that was going on."

More than a third of Americans have been experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau.

People between 18 and 29 years old, like Harris, have been feeling the most anxious and depressed, the survey shows.

For Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, the pandemic has been "an assault on everyone's mental health," but young people have more challenges.

"They haven't had an opportunity to solve problems and be resilient because they don't know how to get through some of these issues," Small said. "You have worries about your future, your career, establishing relationships."

"And I think the uncertainty that the virus presents really adds insult to injury," he added.

Harris had to move out of her dorm at Georgia State University and take the last of her college classes online. The sudden transition, she says, led her to stop sharing her emotions and not open up with others about her feelings. Harris said she has not been medically diagnosed and is not getting professional help.

To cope with her symptoms, Harris says she's pushed herself to talk with family members, exercised more, and stepped back from watching TV and being on social media.

Another thing that can help address both the virus and the anxiety of this pandemic is wearing a mask while in public, said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent.

"It's a way to show that you are less likely to infect someone else and a reminder that we are all in this together," Gupta said.

While not all feelings of anxiety translate into long-term conditions, Small says the stress could impact the immune system, which is key to fighting COVID-19.

"So it's clear that there is a connection between our minds and our bodies," Small said. "And if we heal our minds, it will fortify our bodies."

Harris knows that her life might not return to normal or she might not move to New York yet, but for now, she's excited to start working remotely this summer.

"That's the one thing that has stayed consistent and I'm very excited about," she said.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA —As mid-Missouri experiences a rise in coronavirus cases, the Health Department is struggling to keep up with contact tracing.... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 6:51:53 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
VIENNA — The Historical Society of Maries County is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide "substantial information"... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 6:32:32 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Four bars within 24 hours may have been exposed to someone who had COVID-19. Boone County Health... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 6:29:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE - Hundreds of mid-Missourians stocked up on fireworks this week for the Fourth of July. 73-year-old Jim Edwards... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 5:50:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
BONNE TERRE, MO. (AP) — An eastern Missouri county has seen a big increase in confirmed coronavirus cases, and... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 3:52:13 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA—Columbia City Council will vote Monday on a new mask ordinance that would require face coverings in all public places.... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 3:51:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two state representatives accused former House Speaker Tim Jones of being involved in cyberbullying Friday afternoon, but... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — The Callaway County prosecutor charged David Dodds, 58, from Corydon, Iowa with five felony counts of sexual... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 1:09:28 PM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Parents across mid-Missouri are taking it upon themselves to host proms for students after COVID-19 cancelled many official... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 10:49:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
FULTON - A Fulton man is in custody for attempted statutory rape and sodomy, according to a Missouri State Highway... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 10:14:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) — A shooting Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, left a suspect dead and a police... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 8:55:29 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The white St. Louis couple who became internationally famous for standing guard with guns outside their... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 6:42:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
AP—The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 5:00:35 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Fourth of July festivities are set to begin Friday in Jefferson City, but under a new normal.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 3:15:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School District announced an update to families on Thursday about fall classes. The district's... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 9:07:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - While higher education saw its state funding slashed Tuesday for the new fiscal year... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 8:32:46 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
10am 82°
11am 83°
12pm 85°
1pm 85°