Duke freshman shares mental health advice on Tamron Hall Show during coronavirus pandemic

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Monday, April 6, 2020
Duke freshman shares mental health advice during COVID-19
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Duke freshman shares mental health advice during COVID-19

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A freshman at Duke University was on ABC11 Monday morning during the Tamron Hall Show.

Sophie Riegel, like many of her fellow classmates, remains stuck at home unable to return to campus since the coronavirus pandemic flared.

Riegel was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in seventh grade. She said the pandemic is really challenging her to stay on top of her mental health.

"One of the best things for Sophie was going to college and being busy," Sophie's mom, Deborah, said. "When she came home they knew there wouldn't be the same level of positive distraction so not surprised that the anxiety symptoms resumed."

Uncertainty plays a major role.

"I think the unknown is definitely the bigger part of the problem for me. Not knowing am I even going to be able to go back in the fall has been really scary for me," Sophie said.

Sophie started to notice her anxious behaviors, like hair pulling and OCD, get worse the longer the pandemic drags on.

She recorded a video diary to shed light on the mental health challenges she's been facing during this pandemic.

Sophie and her mom have also written a book on the topic. It's called Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life.

Sophie has also written a book on her own called Don't Tell Me To Relax. It's also about her anxiety and overcoming it.