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November 8, 2022
9781421444239
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Reconnecting after Isolation

Coping with Anxiety, Depression, Grief, PTSD, and More

How to keep calm, carry on, and reconnect during times of social isolation and emotional crisis.

Although spending time alone for short periods may be restorative and helpful, unintentional or involuntary isolation can have profound detrimental effects on emotional and physical health. We all need social interaction and meaningful relationships in our lives to be well and thrive. Without them, we flounder.

In Reconnecting after Isolation, Dr. Susan J. Noonan draws on our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic to help readers deal with the emotional impact of social isolation. Speaking as both a provider and recipient of mental health care services, Noonan combines her professional and personal experiences in an evidence-based and practical guide. Drawing on meticulous research and interviews with four psychologists, she outlines steps to overcome the emotional trauma of isolation.

The book touches on how social isolation, loneliness, and stress affect each of us individually and can sometimes provoke depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidality, and substance use. Describing specific lifestyle interventions that may help, it offers tips for

• developing effective coping skills
• facing isolation-induced fears
adapting effectively to the changes in our personal, family, work, academic, and social lives caused by imposed isolation
• finding effective, culturally sensitive mental health care
• improving sleep hygiene
• building and maintaining resilience
• adopting a healthy diet
• overcoming the fatigue burnout
• grieving a loss
• engaging in regular physical exercise
• keeping a daily routine or structure
• maintaining contact with others

Dr. Noonan also discusses re-entry anxiety, the challenging experience many have upon returning to their prior lifestyle, and the difficulty of establishing new school and work routines following social isolation. Accessible and compassionate, Reconnecting after Isolation empowers individuals to manage their own challenges, offering them a better chance of recovery and of staying well.

About the Author

Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH (WELLESLEY, MA), is a physician, Certified Peer Specialist, mental health and wellness coach, and consultant to Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and CliGnosis, Inc. She is the author of Take Control of Your Depression: Strategies to Help You Feel Better Now and Helping Others with Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do.

Endorsements

"A readable and helpful book for people struggling with their mental health during the pandemic."

- Jonathan Rogers, MB BChir, MRCPsych, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

"Starting with the premise that we are fundamentally social beings, this book by noted physician-author Susan J. Noonan explores the profound mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness, whether due to COVID-19 or other circumstances. This beautifully and empathically written book is replete with wise, practical, and accessible insights, skills, and resources. Anyone healing after a period when meaningful social connections have been disrupted is likely to draw much hope and support from within these pages."

- Jonathan E. Alpert, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

"The COVID-19 pandemic made social isolation a global problem. In her customary friendly and empathetic style, Dr. Noonan explains how social isolation affects us and shares what we can do to feel and function better in spite of it. Reconnecting after Isolation, which ispresented in bite-sized pieces, contains a treasure trove of real-world, practical solutions to the problems caused by social isolation. It also explains why, counterintuitively perhaps, social re-entry can have its own set of problems. Concise but comprehensive, authoritative but accessible, this book deserves a spot on every bookshelf."

- Francis Mark Mondimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Mood Disorders Clinic, Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, author of Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for You and Your Loved Ones

"Openly acknowledging the isolation so many people faced in the pandemic and its ongoing impact on our mental health is so important, Reconnecting after Isolation goes further by addressing the consequences on those living with depression and other mental health conditions. Most importantly, Susan Noonan offers various paths to treatment, thoughtfully presentin options for each person to consider when looking for the appropriate steps forward toward better wellness."

- Michael Pollock, CEO, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

"For many years, Dr. Noonan's books on depression have been at the center of our support groups for those living with mood disorders and striving for emotional wellness. Reconnecting after Isolation expands upon several impotant topics introduced in her classics Take Control of Your Depression and Helping Others with Depression. With her usual crystal clarity Dr. Noonan explains what isolation is, its dangers, and the impact on related disorders. Using the Covid experience as a springboard, she then provides strategies for emotional wellness and overcoming isolation. Everyone, including facilitators, families, and friends, will benefit from this welcomed addition."

- Jonah G. Sinowitz, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey Wellness Center

"Reconnecting after Isolation provides an approachable, research-based guide for all who are navigating the far-reaching effects of social isolation. It is packed full of thoughtful considerations and tangible strategies for effectively coping with the stressors/fallout from the pandemic and the impact of social isolation more broadly. A highly recommended and timely read."

- Nathaniel Van Kirk, PhD, McLean Hospital
Johns Hopkins University Press
A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book
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November 8, 2022
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