The health, economic and social crisis caused by the coronavirus has irreparably affected, but not in the same way, the world’s population. And that left a pretty dense sanity gap.
It is currently estimated that diagnoses of mood disorders have increased by 25% in children and adolescents.
Then we will see what were the most influential factors that the pandemic had on mental health of the Spanish population, the possible effects and healthy and respectful management methods.
Most influencing pandemic factors in mental health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the global spread of a disease as a pandemic and stresses that there is no prior immunity to the new pathogen. In the case of the coronavirus, the first infection was reported on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, taking the first steps to contain it in Spain on March 9, 2020 with the suspension of face-to-face educational activities in Wuhan. . Lack of knowledge of the mechanisms of transmission, as well as the lack of prior exposure and the lack of resources for their confrontation have led to measures as radical and unusual as the previous one.
There are many factors that may have influenced how each person handled the situation, each of us is different. However, studies carried out so far indicate that those that may have affected the Spanish population the most have been the following:.
1. Use of alarmist messages
There are words that, through learning, we have associated with danger. That is why, keeping them in mind, our brain activates response mechanisms to threats that increase the level of stress so that we can cope with it (increased heart rate, redistribution of blood to the limbs, decreased blood pressure). skin moisture, etc.).
This means that all of our energies will be distributed so that all of those abilities that promote survival in a physical and primitive way can be activated and maximized, while other functions will be relegated to the background. Although these threat response mechanisms have little place in today’s world, they are still in place in our bodies.
It’s about a situation of sustained stress over time that can lead to mental and physical health problems which should be recommended by a professional.
2. Loss of daily routine
Daily routines give us structure and certainty. They allow us to know what is going to happen in our life, to organize ourselves and to anticipate what could happen. The need for confinement prevented the normal life of the vast majority of the Spanish population since, until now, telework was a percentage poorly represented in the dynamics of work. Regulated education, on the other hand, did not have the necessary means to continue its activity normally.
This new situation forced minors to stay at home, with the consequent supervision of adults. Some essential workers, other self-employed workers, teleworkers, or people who simply had to give up or suddenly lost their jobs.
3. Information processing
The adequacy of the content for minors, the feeling of lack of precise information, erratic measurements and the well-known infodemic (information pandemic) a phenomenon consisting of an excess of information, not always contrasting or appropriate to the population receiving it, were a challenge during the crisis.
4. Using the mask
Although responses to enforcing its use have been very diverse across the world, from a sense of security and responsibility to a sense of oppression. In Spain, most of those interviewed said they felt social distancing, as well as communication difficulties..
It has also been an added difficulty for those who need lip reading to supplement communication information and a barrier to language acquisition for the little ones.
5. Containment and isolation
While it is true that these are the most effective methods of containing infectious diseases and that they were also the most widely used in the past, these are unusual measures due to the low threat they pose today. hui. The difference between the two, containment and isolation, lies in whether or not the diagnosis is confirmed in the person (s) identified.. While containment is the pre-confirmation measure, isolation is what is applied once the disease is diagnosed.
Restrictions on the ability to leave home have led to more time sharing with other cohabitants or greater isolation for people living alone. In both cases, the difficulties have not been slight: people living with colleagues or relatives have been forced to share more time, and this is not always of good quality due to regulatory difficulties.
Violent behavior in private life has escalated (both within the family and in the couple), relapses of mental health were triggered, or new disorders were born as a result of this stressful situation. Added to this are the consequences of the lack of care for the chronically ill, which has seen their mental health deteriorate.
6. Perception of an uncertain future
This is a rare event, which we have never experienced before in this generation of adults and the next, so we have no direct experience of recovery or the consequences.
7. Social isolation
It was favored by the containment measures and maintained by the lack of means to stay connected. This isolation meant big differences according to age or socio-economic level: slowed down the socialization process of the little ones; it distanced the older ones due to the lack of technological knowledge and opened a socio-economic divide in which those with less purchasing power saw their ability to continue their studies or their social relations conditioned.
As mentioned several times in the article (it is important not to lose sight of this), individual circumstances as well as emotional resources and supports make the experience different for each person. However, scientific evidence reveals that the following symptoms are most common among the Spanish population.
1. Headaches and tension pains
Most referred by neurologists to the general population; they have to do with the physical expression of emotional tension.
Closely linked to the lack of routine. Adolescents were also intensified by an intrinsic feature of this stage of development: delayed sleep.
Adolescents, like all stages of life, have their own sleep cycles. If so, they’re more likely to stay awake at night and sleepy in the morning.
The lack of school routines favored adolescents’ natural tendency to sleep, so waking up was also delayed and with it rhythms altered. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, usually causes irritability and promotes emotional instability.
It can be day or night. That consists of clench or grind your teeth, and is generally associated with times of stress.
4. Emotional lability
It consists of having an irregular and unstable mood. The pressures of an unusual life or of sharing space for longer with other cohabitants, as well as the feeling of loneliness they can promote emotional change and difficulty in regulating.
5. Physical exhaustion
Derived from sleep disturbances, emotional exhaustion, or the inability to perform normal exercise routines.
6. Mood disorders
It means going one step further into discomfort. Symptoms deep anxiety or sadness appear which lasts for more than two weeks, disturbed sleep or appetite, memory problems, slowing or restlessness of thought.
Keys to understanding each other, understanding each other and moving forward with respect
Whatever the symptoms, something is proven not to work as well as it should. Consulting a professional can provide the tools necessary to initiate changes that lead to well-being.
On the other hand, individual experiences are completely different from each other. However, Here are some tips to help you get back on track..
1. Validate your experience and that of others
If you are in front of another person, try to position yourself. Your struggles are likely to be different from yours, but just as valid, painful, and important.
If you are the one suffering from a difficulty, give it the importance it deserves, trying to minimize it won’t make it go away.
2. Seek help from trusted people and specialists
Humans are social beings and, as such, we need other people to live and develop. Psychologists, educators, teachers, family and friends can be great allies.
3. Update yourself with reliable sources
Fairly precise information is currently available on the spread of the virus and the effectiveness of protective measures. Having the right information provides a sense of security and control over the situation. Remember to adjust the content as you stream it.
Some of those you can check out are: the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health, the United Children’s Fund (UNICEF) or the Spanish Journal of Public Health (RESP).
4. Approach your goals in a safe and respectful manner
Define your end goal and the intermediate steps to achieve them, making it easier to see them small daily achievements. Remember to choose realistic goals and stick to the timeline of the process.
5. Look for motivating spaces, companies and activities
Motivation is the momentum that drives us to action. The more pleasant stimuli we have around us in difficult situations, the easier it will be for us to deal with them.
6. Make measurements more flexible within safe limits
Flexibility in all situations is one of the most valuable and useful resources we can exercise. It allows us to give each event the importance it deserves and to deploy the necessary means to develop in a comfortable and tight manner, without overworking or overloading ourselves.
Staying informed so that you can make the appropriate decisions can free up significant mental space and emotional load about this circumstance and allow you to enjoy much more enjoyable situations.
7. Normalize the need for (self) care in all individual situations and differences
The novelty and intensity with which we have lived the pandemic has led to (self) care focusing on protection against the virus. The cure is so much more.