Our usual life was paused when quarantine was entered. The work was transferred to online format at best, at worst – there was no work at all. Meetings with friends – in the zoom or skype, and appeals to aged parents and grandparents – more frequently and anxious. We were quarantined to be saved from the coronavirus, but did we achieve to escape from ourselves?
The Lancet scientific journal issued research on how loneliness affects people’s mental condition in February. Most reports assume that isolation can lead to multiple psychological outcomes – from heightened stress, sleeplessness and emotional anxiety to post-traumatic syndrome and depression.
The results of this research cannot be completely associated with the current condition, as the Coronavirus pandemic has led to world-wide isolation for the first time in history. However, already psychologists are witnessing an increase in anxiety, suicidal moods, domestic violence, as well as the rise of fear attacks and emotional dysregulation. Especially critical psychological outcomes are prognosticated in people with Covid-19.
Psychologists believe that we will be able to assess the real results of the epidemic only later. At the time there is no full picture of how quarantine and the pandemic influenced the mental state of people. It is divined that the number of visits to psychologists will grow after the end of the pandemic, as the events in which we are now – the perfect conditions for progress and increase of stress and depression.
The psychological problems that have already lived in a person may shift more acutely during isolation. A discouraged person sees the future as dark and hopeless, and himself/herself as helpless and worthless. Now during a pandemic, many people may think that it will never end, that it will not turn out well, that they are unable to cope with this situation.
However, it is impossible to speak unambiguously that isolation is the cause of an outbreak of psychological problems around the world, because everything depends on the individual, on how stable he or she was before the quarantine.
Not everyone should necessarily be upset because of changes. This depends on many factors: character traits, mental disorders, resources (financial reserve, social support, etc.) and others. Some factors play against a person – these are «risk factors». For example, an individual’s history of anxiety disorder increases the risk that he or she will become more acute in self-isolation. Other factors, on the contrary, protect – these are protective factors; for example, an introvert programmer who has worked from home before may not notice significant changes in his or her lifestyle and mental state because of the pandemic.
Psychologists have noted that older persons who have been completely isolated and middle-aged men who have lost their jobs and business confidence are at risk of the possible outbreak of suicides. Women are also at risk, but they statistically more often turn to professionals and find other solutions.
Men are often pressured by social stereotypes about their commercial and personal safety: many guys are prepared from childhood that they should earn a lot, should not show feebleness, and should not ask for assistance. In general, the situation is constantly developing now: men begin to seek help from psychologists more often. But there are still more ladies among the clients of psychotherapists.