More sad and irritable because of the coronavirus

Right now there is a general state of mind that psychologists call ‘sadness covid-19’. “It is the sadness fruit of the sum of losses, of not knowing when this is going to end. Both the isolation and the duels will accompany us for a long time, “he explains. José Ramón Ubieto, psychoanalyst and professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The ‘covid-19 sadness’ has nothing to do with mental health disorders that afflict, more and more and as a result of the health and economic crisis, the population. It is not so serious. It also does not have a clinical diagnosis, but is expressed through “reactive discomforts” like insomnia or lack of concentration. The irritability.

But not only. According to the mental health group of the Catalan Society of Family and Community Medicine (Camfic), Primary care centers (CAP) are seeing these days, in addition to a lot of anxiety, many patients with muscle tension. Abound lumbalgias, according to the Camfic: also the body, and not only the mind, have ways of expressing the stress.

“Of all these ailments, we are especially concerned about those that can become entrenched in the form of isolation. A sequel to the pandemic is the inhibition. There is a certain paranoid environment: people who consider that adapting to this situation requires isolating themselves from the other, “says Ubieto. According to this therapist, overcoming the duel For the losses (of jobs, but also of truncated projects and, above all, of loved ones) it will take “months and years.” “This is not a parenthesis. And the first thing we have to do is accept that it is not. We are facing a disruption: we are not going to go back to the previous moment, to the old normality. But neither nostalgia nor passive waiting are useless, “says Ubieto.

This psychotherapist recommends that, once it is assumed that there is “something lost and irrecoverable”, citizenship must “To put the batteries” Y “continue projects”. “You have to identify well what is essential and a part of what is essential is the encounter with the other. Nor should we give up the pleasures. Since we are not going to find great satisfactions, the day-to-day satisfactions are very important,” he says . And choose to assume reality: “We have entered another era.”

Pandemic fatigue

The psychologist and coordinator of the stress and health research group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Jordi Fernández Castro, appeals to another concept: “pandemic fatigue”. “We are in a situation that is common to everyone. There are people who suffer more and others less. But it affects us all,” he says. According to Fernández, the population lives in a situation of “chronic stress”. “We continually have discomfort, difficulties, plans that are not made, negative information … There is a situation of general discomfort, not intense but continuous,” he values.

No time perspective people lose confidence in the future. There is a general feeling of “helplessness”

For her fatigue, the demotivation, the difficulty making plans and the irritability they are, at the moment, the order of the day. And all this is related on the one hand with the “overinformation” (information “excessive, confusing and sometimes contradictory”) and by the “temporal issue”. Because if in March the population believed that what they were experiencing was a matter of a month or two, now it is difficult to say how long this situation will last. “We are realizing this is going on for a long time. Not having a time perspective makes you lose confidence in the future. We have a very confusing account of what is happening. We don’t know who to blame, “says this psychologist. There is a general feeling of “abandonment”.

How to live? Fernández Castro calls comply with “social norms” to recover the “collective trust”. “Getting angry, discouraged, having a bad time is useless. It is very important that each person assumes their responsibility. And look at the close people who comply with the restrictions, not look at those who do not comply, “he concludes.

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