As a teenager, Paulina Castle struggled for years with suicidal thoughts. When her mental health was at its most fragile, she would isolate herself, spending days in her room alone.
“That’s the exact thing that makes you feel significantly worse,” the 26-year-old Denver woman said. “It creates a cycle where you’re constantly getting dug into a deeper hole.”
Part of her recovery involved forcing herself to leave her room to socialize or to exercise outside. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made all of that much harder. Instead of interacting with people on the street in her job as a political canvasser, she is working at home on the phone. And with social distancing rules in place, she has fewer opportunities to meet with friends.
“Since the virus started,” she said, “it’s been a lot easier to fall back into that cycle.”
Between the challenges of the pandemic, the social unrest