What a year it has been! With all these COVID-19 events, quarantine, and COVID vaccines all over the news, people have experienced much frustration. How to overcome COVID stress?
To help you become more educated and knowledgeable about COVID-19 from a psychological perspective, we’ve interviewed Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Board Certified psychiatrist.
Carole Lieberman is a Doctor of Medicine, a three-time Emmy-Honored Media Psychiatrist, Best-Selling Author, and Expert TV and Radio Host. In this video interview, she explains the psychological effects of quarantine on people, shares her opinion about COVID-19 vaccines, and gives insights on how to heal from COVID stress.
...all of these mandates and all of these pronouncements and so on, have been weakening our immune system and making us more vulnerable to coronavirus.
Watch the full interview to uncover best practices and expert tips:
Questions covered in this video interview with Dr. Carole Lieberman:
- How has COVID changed our lives?
- COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination impacts
- Comparing COVID pandemic and Spanish flu
- Psychological effects of quarantine
- Can you trust social media?
- Dr. Carole Lieberman M.D. achievements
Dr. Carole Lieberman: Hello. My name is Dr. Carole Lieberman. I am a Board Certified psychiatrist, but in addition to that, I'm an MD, and I have a master's in public health as well. And I received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health while I was studying for my master's in public health. And my field was epidemiology, particularly, it was how to use the media to educate people about physical and mental health to prevent illness and to treat illness. I'm a bestselling author, and I have two podcasts.
How Has COVID-19 Changed Our Lives?
Dr. Carole Lieberman: Today, why I mentioned first my credentials in epidemiology and public health is because I've been talking about Coronavirus and what people can do to help themselves in the quarantine and terms that I created, like suicide related to coronavirus and Corona rage like road rage.
So I have been talking on radio and television about all these various things and trying to help people. But it has just been so incredibly frustrating to see politicians and so-called scientists and doctors like Dr. Fauci giving incredibly bad advice to people in terms of what they should do to protect themselves from coronavirus, to treat coronavirus.
What Is Covid Punishment?
And it's all been about punishment. It's all things that you must do. You must wear masks and you must stay six feet apart. And now you must take the vaccine and all of these different... And you must not take hydroxychloroquine even though that has been incredibly successful with many patients if they take it in the first four days.
So it's just devastating to me to see because this is sort of public health 101, everything I learned, that when you announce to the public when you use the media to teach people about what they should and shouldn't do about some kind of illness, you don't give them punishment. You give them positive things that they can do to protect themselves.
Now, what this punishment has been doing, these punishments, these mandates, and these announcements have been doing, they have been stressing us out and stress weakens the immune system.
So in fact, all of these mandates and all of these pronouncements and so on, have been weakening our immune system and making us more vulnerable to coronavirus. Now, I want to be clear about one thing. I am not telling people not to wear a mask or not to stay six feet apart or not to wash their hands.
What I am saying though, is that everybody needs to make these decisions for themselves. They need to try to educate themselves, the internet, of course, you have to be careful about what you believe is true, but if you read a lot of different things and you watch television, or you inform yourself sufficiently and talk to your friends, people who you trust, talk to your doctor, of course, then you need to make the decisions for yourself.
Has COVID-19 Become Politics?
Not just be like little mice going into your little mouse hole and making this world more and more like George Orwell's 1984 than ever. So it is very unfortunate that from the beginning, all issues in society, but particularly it's very dangerous because...
...all issues in regard to coronavirus have become politicized.
So if you're wearing a mask, you must be at one political party. If you're not wearing a mask you're another political party, that has gotten in the way, that has made the whole situation worse rather than it being based on science because the truth is that this is a new virus. And I mean, the family is known, but this particular virus is new. So scientists, doctors, researchers are first learning about it.
So these people who want to come off as being experts in coronavirus, really many of them are just guessing. They don't know what they're talking about, and yet they want us to follow these rules. So this is all part of why you have to be your own doctor to some degree or ask doctors who you trust and put it together for yourself.
How Do COVID-19 Vaccine and COVID Vaccination Impact Us?
Dr. Carole Lieberman: So now we have the vaccine, Fauci from the beginning can say, "Oh, wait until we have a vaccine, wait until we have the vaccine." And so now we're essentially there. We're on the brink of having a vaccine, several vaccines, in fact, and they may well be good. Again, I'm not telling anybody not to take it, but I am saying you have to inform yourself about them.
What Are COVID Immunity Cards?
What is really scary is that there are now going to be immunity cards. Everybody is going to get an immunity card or an immunity passport. And that is going to keep your information, just like kids have for measles and so on where you write down what vaccines you've gotten. Because some of these vaccines, you need more than one.
So it's to help you keep track of where you are in that. But the information isn't private. It's not just with your doctor, these vaccines, whether you take them, when you take them, what you take is going to be communicated to the government.
And so, there's one thing to be told to wear a mask or to stay six feet apart. But it's another thing to be told you have to take a vaccine because that's something that is put into your body, that is sort of the final frontier.
So if we allow the government to tell us that we need to put things into our body, and God knows what's in those vaccines. There are lots of questions that have been raised about that. Then, the freedom is gone, our choice is gone.
And yes, coronavirus is horrible. COVID is horrible. The percentage of people who die from COVID, however, it's still lower than you would think. The statistics that we see on television, on the radio, where we read, makes it seem like everybody's dying from COVID. There are lots of problems with those statistics and it is still a very small percentage.
How Does COVID-19 Vaccination Become Public?
We now have, it was just announced recently that some presidents are going to show us how wonderful the vaccine is because they're going to take the vaccine on camera. We have Bush, we have Clinton, we have Obama. Fauci, I think also has said, they're all going to take the vaccine on camera so they can show us just how great it is.
Well, why would we believe that they are being given the vaccine rather than a placebo, some kind of a solution that is not dangerous and not deep enough to be dangerous?
Why with all the media that has been put into such a question, the public doesn't really trust the media anymore with good reason, why would we believe that these presidents are really getting the vaccine that we supposedly are going to be getting?
Will You Take the COVID-19 Vaccine?
I am not going to be first online for the vaccination. I would prefer not to take it at all. The only way that I would take it would be if the things that you need to have proof of vaccination for would limit my life.
When I first read about these plans to have immunity cards, immunity passports, and have these companies where you would get your vaccination, they are then supposed to report it to the government. And it totally goes against HIPAA rules.
I mean, we're supposed to have privacy about our medical information. So all of a sudden now what makes this different? Why should we have to say whether we took a vaccination or not?
It's really very scary. There are just so many things going on that are pointing to increased control because when we were told to wear masks and some people did, or we were told to lock down. Each step that we were told to do first masks, washing your hands, staying six feet apart, then locking down. Each step was a little bit more than no restaurants.
I mean, each of the mandates that have come down has been more and more serious, it's been increasingly serious. So that is the scariest part. And now, of course, we're at vaccines that they have been sort of desensitizing us to rebelling against the mandates.
Okay. If you're going to wear a mask, then how hard is it to stay six feet apart or to lock down in your house? That kind of thing. We've been gradually desensitized and have come to believe that, "Oh, well this is okay. They're just looking out for us." I mean, really?
And again, I am not for covidiots. I wanted to mention this, what has been happening, by this increase in mandates is that people, and especially since it's lasting so many months, people have begun to rebel. People who were sort of okay with the mandates or some of the mandates,
...the more mandates and the stricter, they are, the more people want to rebel. That's a normal, psychological response.
It's like little kids if you keep being told to stay in your room. After a while, kids are going to want to sneak out.
Well, that's what's happening being with what we call covidiots. People who purposely go into situations without masks without six feet apart to rebel against the so-called authorities who are telling us what to do.
And that is why we're having more coronavirus because more people are rebelling. So these mandates are backfiring.
How Is COVID-19 Pandemic Compared With Spanish Flu?
Dr. Carole Lieberman: I mean, the bottom line was that we were overreacting to COVID. We are overreacting to COVID. There were tremendous financial problems after the Spanish flu, there were psychological problems.
Although of course they weren't really described as much in those days as now, after Freud, now we can talk about it a little clearer. But we lived through that and we made some mistakes and I think we don't want to make some of the same mistakes now.
What Are the Psychological Effects of COVID Quarantine?
Dr. Carole Lieberman: People are getting more and more ground down. More by the mandates, more by the restrictions, the quarantine, the lockdowns—all of the things that we're not supposed to do. Not to mention, it's almost too dreadful to really imagine the economic impact.
It's already of course happening, but by the end of this, whenever that is, it's going to be greater.
...people are feeling depressed, they're feeling anxious, they're feeling suicidal, they have PTSD. They're getting dehumanized because we're keeping such a physical distance and it's become an emotional distance also.
It takes too much energy to call somebody by Zoom or by telephone, people are just hiding, going into hibernation and their little caves. And none of this is good. And then of course on top of it, the civil unrest…
What Is the Crisis Fatigue?
It's just a combination of so many damaging traumas. I call it crisis fatigue, meaning that from between one crisis and the next we haven't had room to breathe, we haven't had room to heal.
And now the holidays are coming or they're here. So usually there's some holiday stress, but it's holiday stress on top of crisis fatigue.
I mean, there are so many crises and traumas and all of this that we're trying to sort of soldier on and stay healthy. The stress...
I can't stress enough how much stress weakens our immune system. It is the biggest killer.
Perhaps older people do tend to... I'm talking again about over 80. They're more isolated, first of all. And there are a lot of things, it's not just physically, it's a lot of things that make them more stressed. So is that the major factor in why they are more affected?
How Heal From COVID-19 Stress?
We need to do things to decrease our stress and to do positive things for ourselves. I have come up with an anagram. And these are easy things if everybody did this day, I can't say it's a cure or that it's guaranteed that they're going to be healthy, but it is certainly very good protection.
And the anagram spells HEAL MYSELF. Each letter stands for something that you need to do:
- H is for “Healthy” nutritious food.
- E is for “Exercise”—whether that's taking a walkout in the sun or dancing in your living room.
- A is for “Aromatherapy”—you can put aromatherapy, candles, or plants, flowers around your house.
- L is for “Laughter”—everybody needs to have at least one hour of laughter a day. In so many homes these days, people almost feel like they're not allowed to laugh. And laughter is the best medicine and that would really help.
That’s HEAL. And then MYSELF.
- M is for “Meditation” or calming music.
- Y is for “Your choice” of vitamins and supplements.
- S is for “Sleep —at least eight hours a night.
- E is for “Engage” with friends and family—provide social support, help each other, give each other advice, and express your worries.
- L is for “Limit your daily intake of gloom and doom”—the major important thing to do.
- F is for “Follow your passion”—just because we are quarantined and all of this chaos is going on in the world, we do have time and we can still put that to good use, to follow our passion while we're waiting this out.
Dr. Carole Lieberman: Social media has become a monster. It's too big for its britches. Social media giants, they are giants and they are above control.
And instead of providing information, I mean, there are lots, of course, wonderful things about the internet and so on. You Google things. Okay. And when we started with this, we had this perhaps naive view that all of these things that we were going to see on there were not censored and were left to us to decide which things we agreed with and which things we didn't. And more and more, of course, these tech giants have been doing political and just all kinds of censorship.
And one that particularly bothered me was when they all decided that they knew more about medicine than doctors. I'm talking about how they censored anything having to do with hydroxychloroquine.
Since when does an IT person, since when does he or she knows more about medicine than doctors who are on the front lines using a medication like hydroxychloroquine, seeing amazing results if they give it to their patients soon enough in the first four days, and yet Twitter and Facebook, all of these different giants have been censoring comments that say anything positive about hydroxychloroquine and other medications as well.
So in terms of, for COVID, we can't trust our health to Twitter.
What Are You Trying to Achieve With Your Work?
Dr. Carole Lieberman: The reason why I moved to California after my psychiatry residency was because one of the things that I was very much involved in and did a lot of have done a lot here in California is helping people in the entertainment industry, create television shows and movies that are not harmful to people.
In particular, I mean, in regard to violence, I am very passionate about how the impact of media violence affects people. I'm not the only one who knows about this or did studies on this. It's been for decades, people have been doing studies showing that,
...the more violent media you consume, the more aggressive you become.
Not everyone becomes a serial killer, but they may act out their aggression in domestic violence or road rage or fighting for a parking spot. So I wanted to help Hollywood to make less violent entertainment.
What Is TerroristTherapist.com?
Well, my terroristtherapist.com website is to get people to become more familiar with some of the work that I do. Of course, my latest book for terrorism is “Lions and Tigers and Terrorists, Oh My! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror.” And that is for parents and teachers and children.
The first half of it is for grown-ups to help answer kids' questions about terrorism, to help them understand, help them express their feelings. And then the second part of the book is a picture book for kids that the grown-up is supposed to share with kids.
And it's won five awards all over the world. And so that's part of it, to get people familiar with my book, but also my terrorist therapist podcast plays on that. I do a weekly podcast and each week I pick out the most important things in terrorism. So for example, my latest one is about the killing of the nuclear scientist in Iran. Before that, I've done a number of things, connecting coronavirus with terrorism.
The main thing is a lot of people are in denial, especially now with the elections and with COVID, which has taken people away from paying attention or being aware that there are still people out there called terrorists who want to kill us and take over America.
So I want people to stay aware of that, not to hide under the covers, but to do things to make themselves and their families more resilient to terrorism. And I also try to help people recognize the things that are still affecting them from 9/11. These things, by the way, have been increased during COVID.
So for example, from 9/11, that started the obesity epidemic because people were comforting themselves with comfort food. And of course, now we're doing that all the more. Things have gone up since 9/11, like alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, cutting, all kinds of negative sorts of things.
And it's not only adults who were alive at that time, but children of parents who were alive are affected. And that explains some of the reasons why millennials and the generation after them are the way they are in terms of feeling like they need the government to take care of them.
Because when they were growing up, their parents were in a PTSD state or a depressed state, or some kind of state affected by 9/11. And it made them feel like they needed something more to take care of them. And so, there are all kinds of effects that are still lingering today.
COVID-19, the pandemic, lockdowns, and mandates have put lots of frustration and stress on people. They are confused, angry, and scared, which impacts the immune system and psychological health. As our expert says, “We need to do things to decrease our stress and to do positive things for ourselves.”
We thank Dr. Carole Lieberman for her useful tips and honest opinion on COVID-19, COVID vaccination, social media, and immunity cards. We’re especially thankful to her for sharing the “HEAL MYSELF” anagram, a unique psychological technique that can help people recover from stress and become healthy.
If you have any questions, you’re welcome to leave a comment below. For more expert tips, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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