Anxious about re-entering society as restrictions ease? Here’s how to take back control of your life


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Some doctors in the Upstate say they are seeing an uptick in patients dealing with anxiety when it comes to re-entering society amid the pandemic.

But there are tips to regain your confidence and resources available to those who need them.

“It was real easy to be anti-social for a year,” said Therapist, Dr. Roger Rhoades.

He said he’s seeing patients who are coming in, in high numbers— anxious and depressed about getting back to the world pre-covid.

“People are going back to where they’re not easily back into the system,” Dr. Rhoades said. “They’re not getting back into the routine and that’s really where I want to help people, is to encourage them to think pre-covid.”

He said that means getting back into a routine.

“As we’re coming out of covid, you’ve got to re-socialize,” Dr. Rhoades said. “You’ve gotta kind’ve go back to the old way. And the more you do that, I’m telling you straight up, mentally, emotionally, socially, you’re going to operate better.”

He said to make sure to make an effort, because you can’t just count on it to happen.

“You can’t look for it to just happen,” Dr. Rhoades explained. “I think that’s the biggest issue. ‘Oh, I’m just going to get back into the swing of things.’ And I’m here to tell you, no you’re not.”

Tips from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America include recognizing what you can control, like following covid-19 guidelines and wearing your mask when out in public.

Also be sure to make your approach to re-entering society gradual, like hanging out with a friend first.

“Get with a friend. Sometimes we need support,” Dr. Rhoades said. “Let’s just call up, ‘hey Bill, you got a moment? Hey June, you got a moment? I just thought we’d run by and do a little shopping together.'”

As Dr. Rhoades said, interaction is key to getting feedback and getting back into a pre-covid routine is what’s going to get you to make those first baby steps into re-entering society.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression in regard to re-entering society, here are some services you can reach out to from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health:

All SCDMH mental health centers remained open during the Pandemic and are accepting new patients. We are also continuing to see patients via secure telephone or video visit, if they prefer that to in-person. To find their closest SCDMH outpatient mental health center, folks can visit

SC-HOPES – This line is for all South Carolinians impacted by COVID-19 or any associated stressors. Anyone can call this line to be linked to resources for mental health or substance use treatment or other needs. 

  • SC-HOPES is available 24/7, toll-free, at (844) SC-HOPES  (724-6737).

Tu Apoyo – This line is a Spanish-language companion line for SC-HOPES. 

  • Tu Apoyo is available from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, toll-free, at (833) TU-APOYO (882-7696).

Online Mental Health Screener 
– this recently launched tool is a safe, easy, and free service that allows users to anonymously take a Self-Check Questionnaire and connect with a professional counselor who can offer guidance, support, and resources to help connect them with mental health and addiction services. 


SC Mobile Crisis (formerly CCRI) – Mobile Crisis is for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Local Mobile Crisis Teams assess the crisis and can respond on-site, with law enforcement, if needed. 

  • SC Mobile Crisis is available 24/7, toll-free, statewide, at (833) 364-2274.

SCDMH Deaf Services Hotline 
– This line is dedicated to folks who are deaf or hard of hearing and in crisis or in need of resources.  It is also available to contact for hospital consultation, telepsychiatry interpreter requests, and mental health center referrals.

  • The Deaf Services Hotline is available 24/7, statewide, at (803) 339-3339 (VP) or

Crisis Text Line
 – The Crisis Text Line is for anyone in need of crisis assistance but who is not able or ready to call into a resource line. Earlier this year, SC received its own code for the line.

  • The Crisis Text Line can be reached 24/7, nationwide, toll-free, by texting HOPE4SC to 741741.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
– This line is for anyone in need of crisis help. 

  • The Lifeline is available 24/7, toll-free, nationwide, at (800) 273-TALK  (8255).

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