Containment depression: factors that facilitate its onset

Mood disorders are a very common form of discomfort and, among them, depression is one of its most common types. This is due, among other things, to the fact that there is a wide variety of experiences that make us increasingly vulnerable to this psychopathology.

The set of situations that increase our chances of developing depression acts as a kind of psychological funnel: many different experiences, combined with certain personal predispositions, can lead to similar results.

However, through years of research on this topic, the science of psychology has shown that some situations are riskier than others when it comes to encouraging the onset of depression. And unfortunately, it seems that the experience of pandemic containment, like that of the coronavirus, is associated with several of them. Here I will talk about this phenomenon, depression by confinement.

    Can confinement cause depression?

    The first thing to be clear about is that there is still no big conclusive research on the impact of COVID-19 containment on mental health Spaniards or the general population; all this is still relatively recent and at the same time a complex phenomenon, the study requires a lot of combined efforts. However, this does not mean that we know absolutely nothing about what it usually means for the human mind to go through weeks or months of such experiences; similar precedents exist, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2002-2004, among others.

    On the other hand, while we know that drastic contagion prevention measures applied to large areas of territory tend to erode the mental health of many people, this does not mean that confinement causes depression. Technically, it is correct to consider that confinement generally goes hand in hand with associated factors, which increase the chances of suffering from this psychological disorder.

    And as always in these cases, we must insist on the word “probabilities”: in psychology, we almost always adopt a probabilistic approach to analyze the implications of a social phenomenon on the mental health of the population. No one is guaranteed to suffer or not to suffer from depression because this psychopathology is statistically associated with what is happening.

    finally the term “confinement depression” does not mean that there is a psychological disorder which officially bears this name: The way this mood disorder is known is major depressive disorder, according to the most widely used diagnostic textbooks in psychiatry and clinical psychology. Thus, the confinement depression is simply the depression between the causes that highlights the importance of factors related to the confinement and everything around it: a certain social isolation, less movement, etc.

    Containment depression: factors that favor this disorder

    These are the most important aspects that characterize the containment depression

    1. Reduced social interaction

    Social interactions are experiences that in many cases are mentally stimulating and can provide incentives.. With confinement, exposure to these types of stimuli that provide small daily motivations is reduced, and a lifestyle devoid of too many exciting or fun experiences is known to be associated with the onset of depression.

    2. Sedentary lifestyle

    A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing depression. It is believed to have to do with the deteriorating state of health (For lack of movement and good nutrition), and depression is “fueled” by inflammatory processes in the body that can affect the nervous system.

    3. Too much exposure to anxiety

    In a context of pandemic containment, it is much easier to suffer from anxiety issues: many people feel helpless that they cannot go out when they want to, that they cannot see their loved ones in a normal way, so it can arrive. with their work or projects, etc. Related to this, sand he knows that suffering from anxiety is also associated with an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms, Or the development of other psychopathologies such as addictions (which, in turn, also contribute to the emergence of a major depressive disorder).

    4. Lack of sound

    A change of habits as radical as the step of remaining in a situation of confinement, often, produces inconsistencies in the sleep schedule. This disorganization often results in difficulty sleeping well, or the necessary hours. And yes: sleeping little is also associated with an increased risk of depression.

    Are you interested in professional psychological assistance?

    If you are going through a confinement situation that puts you in difficulty and you notice that it is significantly harming your emotional well-being, contact me. I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model, one of the most effective and adaptable, and I have worked for years to help people better manage the cognitive and emotional processes that accompany the problems that life poses to us.

    I attend my consultation in Madrid, and I also provide psychological assistance in the online format. On this page you will find my contact details.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC: author.
    • Delgado, P. (2000). Depression: the case of monoamine deficiency. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 61: pages 7-11.
    • Hagen, EH (2002). Depression as negotiation: the postpartum case. Evolution and human behavior. Elsevier.
    • Huang, Y .; Lil .; Gan, Y .; Wang, C .; Jiang, H .; Cao, S .; Lu, Z. (2020). Sedentary behaviors and the risk of depression: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Translational psychiatry, 10:26 a.m.
    • Leyva-Jiménez, R., Hernández-Juárez, AM, López-Gaona, G. (2007). Depression in adolescents and family functioning. Medical Journal of the Mexican Social Security Institute.
    • National Collaborating Center for Mental Health. Depression. (2009). The treatment and management of depression in adults (updated edition). National Clinical Practice Guideline Number 90. London: British Psychological Society and Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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