Stress, Anxiety and Depression

A young male rests his arm on another male's shoulder who is weeping.

Updated 6/12/20, 9:40am


Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Stress and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions during and after a disaster. Common reactions include:

  • Concern about protecting oneself 
  • Frustration about the disruption of daily routines
  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Guilt, if being supported by loved ones

Financial stress, economic impacts, and job uncertainty related to COVID-19 are significant sources of stress and anxiety right now across all populations in our community.

Individuals will experience increased levels of distress if they:

  • Have mental health conditions before the outbreak, such as depression.
  • Live in lower-income households.
  • Have language barriers.
  • Experience stigma because of age, race or ethnicity, disability, or perceived likelihood of spreading COVID-19.

Look out for these common signs of distress:

  • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety, or fear.
  • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty sleeping and upsetting thoughts and images.
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Irritability, anger or short-temper.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

Contact your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of carrying out your daily responsibilities for several days in a row.

Heightened stress and anxiety reactions to COVID-19

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.

Although everyone reacts differently to disasters, some may suffer more serious mental or emotional distress. Individuals may experience worsening of existing mental health or substance use problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Finding treatment in a timely manner will help individuals minimize negative outcomes.

If you want to reach out for support, but are concerned about being overheard, please note that several resources below have text or chat options.

Disaster Distress Hotline

  • 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Individuals
  • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Use your preferred relay service to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990
  • TTY 1-800-846-8517

Spanish Speakers

  • Call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2"
  • From the 50 States, text Hablanos to 66746
  • From Puerto Rico, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

  • 1-800-273-8255 is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • 1-800-799-4889

Spanish Speakers

  •  1-800-628-9454

National Domestic Violence Hotline

  •   1-800-799-7233 (English and Spanish Speakers)
  •   Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  •   1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
  •   Chat at: 

Crisis Text Line

  •   To speak with a Crisis Counselor, text OREGON to 741741

Trevor Project (LGBTQ)

  •  1-866-488-7386 is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline
  •  Text START to 678678

Benton County Mental Health

  • Crisis & Information Hotline: 1-888-232-7192 and is available 24 hours/day. 
  • Counselor of the Day: 541-766-6835