Episode 27-Depression and Anxiety in a Pandemic

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Have depression and anxiety changed because of the pandemic? How has COVID-19 impacted what these issues look like, as compared to their classic versions? How might your personality (introversion or extroversion) play a part in these mental health issues?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In this episode, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they share their observations and experiences as therapists.

In This Episode


  • What are anxiety and depression?
  • What have Nathan and Aaron seen during the pandemic about depression and anxiety?

What are anxiety and depression?

  1. Clinical depression is known as Major Depressive Disorder, defined by:
    1. A depressed mood, most of the day, most days
    2. A diminished interest and inability to take pleasure
    3. Weight loss or gain
    4. Big change in sleep schedule – either way too much or too little
    5. Slow movement
    6. Fatigue and loss of energy nearly every day
    7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
    8. The diminished ability to think or concentrate
    9. Recurrent thoughts of death
  2. In order to be diagnosed with MDD, you must have five of the above
  3. Although there are variations, General Anxiety Disorder is mostly how anxiety is defined:
    1. Excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for at least 6 months
    2. The worry is difficult to control
    3. Three of the following six criteria are met (one for children):
    4. Being restless or irritable
    5. Being easily fatigued
    6. Difficulty concentrating
    7. Irritability
    8. Muscle tension
    9. Sleep difficulty, which is difficulty falling or staying asleep, or unsatisfactory sleep
  4. Depression is looking back and feeling sad, anxiety is looking forward and feeling stressed

What have Nathan and Aaron seen during the pandemic about anxiety and depression?

  1. Personality seems to have a big effect
    1. Extroverts, who love to be around people, might feel like they can’t connect and tend to be slow, hopeless, and physically look “flat”
    2. Introverts, who need to be alone to recharge, might feel like they can’t get away from people in their home, or that they eventually start to miss people
  2. There’s a difference between having depression and being depressed. Being depressed is situational and will go away when things get better, having depression is long-term regardless of the situation
  3. One of the treatments for anxiety and depression is exercise
  4. If you’re being affected by symptoms of anxiety and depression, you’re not crazy: welcome to the club!
  5. Regardless of where you are right now, hopefully you find this helpful and can find answers

Useful Links

  • Sign up for our free email course, 9 Ways To Overcome Fear & Self-Doubt, that will guide you through our process of facing fears and insecurities so that you can feel more comfortable in your own skin

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Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 27