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Anxious about returning to 'normal?' You're not alone, experts say

Virus Outbreak Illinois
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 14:28:21-04

You're vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's no need for you to wear a mask, but if the idea of going without a mask is making you feel anxious, you are not alone.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to remain socially distant, getting social again may feel uncomfortable.

In an interview with ABC15, Dr. Jen Ashton tells us wearing a mask -- or not wearing one -- is about personal responsibility.

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"It's kind of no different than wearing a seatbelt in a car. You don't have to wear a seatbelt if you don't want to, but you take that risk on for yourself. And this is the same," Dr. Ashton says. "I should also say that as we evolve through these uncharted waters, if people personally feel more comfortable wearing a mask, even if they are fully vaccinated, absolutely, they should continue to do that."

ABC15 also talked with Dr. Benjamin Miller, a psychologist known best for his extensive work focused on mental health awareness.

"That fear of going back to normal is very real," Dr. Miller says.

Dr. Miller says whether it's back into the office, the gym, the park, or even hosting a birthday party, if you're feeling anxious, it's OK to set boundaries.

"If you were the one who wants to make sure that masks are on at the party, then you tell people your expectation, and you say, 'this is what I believe is best for me and my family.' If you don't, you do the same. But yes, boundaries can be extremely important."

Depression, isolation, PTSD, addiction…is someone in your life struggling with a mental health condition? It’s OK to ask for help. ABC15 Arizona, CW61, and Pinnacle Peak Recovery have teamed up to provide access to resources and shine a light on those in the community who are helping people get better. View our You Are Not Alone segments the first Tuesday of every month on ABC15 and CW61 or watch them here.