The human brain, like the body, needs exercise: our mind is nourished by external stimuli, environmental variability, conversations with other people and even daily conflicts. All of this is necessary to maintain good mental health. However, we now live in a situation where our environment is between four walls and we are always dealing with the same issues. This increases the appearance of anxious and depressive symptoms, but also of psychotic symptoms.
Mental health issues and isolation
Patients suffering from depression (sadness, lack of energy, difficulty enjoying, chronic fatigue, ideas of destruction and death) will see it increase. Patients suffering from anxiety (hyper-alarm condition, the feeling of danger, symptoms of palpitations and cold sweats, tremors) will not be better either.
Patients with psychotic disorders may receive less attention for their treatments, with the possibility of becoming destabilised, especially if they abandon them. But even people who have never suffered from any of these pathologies may feel depression or anxiety due to a lack of external stimuli and social contact.
The situation is complicated: we cannot advise our patients to exercise or to spend more time with their friends. There is no opportunity for a relaxing walk on the beach and every trip to the supermarket is full of tension because of the fear of becoming infected.
What can we do to avoid this feeling?
- Keep a steady schedule: Don’t violate our circadian rhythm. Go to bed and get up at the same time, eat every day at the same time.
- Do not forget hygiene: just because no one will see us is no excuse to stop showering. We need to give ourselves a dignified image, and giving up self-care is the first step to ending up in depression.
- Try to maintain social relationships using Whatsapp, Zoom or any video call application
- Watch out for the time we spend on social networks reading alarming news about pandemics.
- Let’s try to work out, even if it’s in the living room.
- Pick up hobbies like reading, cooking or crafts.
- Remember our chronic medications. This is not the time to give up treatment.
Relapse in depression
“Depression is seen as a recurring disorder. It is important to consider a relapse. During the therapy, therefore, a relapse prevention plan or signalling plan is always drawn up. Everyone sometimes feels gloomy. It is important to keep an eye on whether the gloominess does not develop into a depression. Those who have experienced depression can feel more quickly after recovery whether the symptoms have returned and whether they are getting worse. This makes it possible to intervene more quickly and prevent someone from becoming depressed again. If you are still feeling anxiety or sadness, there are many professionals who will assist patients with a video consultation. There is no need to delay mental health care.”
Psychiatrist-Sexologist Villa Paradiso Spain
DR. Ruth Arenas Mata
Anxiety and addiction
As we know people in recovery or active addiction struggle with feeling and emotions. Addiction is a fear-based illness and fear bring a lot of strong emotions and one can be anxiety. But what is anxiety, how does it make us feel and if we feel that emotion do we just accept it or do we find a way to cope with it?
Many addicts or alcoholics feel anxiety if they don’t have their drink or substance. So why do we feel strong anxiety when we are clean and in recovery…
As first stated it is an emotion and we start to associate it with our addiction but recovery is new and if we can identify an emotion we get fear or confusion which leads us to feel anxiety.
Lots of people have anxiety in their lives and they find different ways to cope but anxiety comes from a place inside us may be a trauma or some childhood beliefs.
For example, if you are a child and you parent say ‘’go and play but don’t go where I can’t see you’’ this can lead to a panic attack or anxiety later in life as your program that if out of sight some may happen.
Another example is leaving a light on for a child, the child programs them to be scared of the dark we don’t think of this but these are keys to shaping us to live in normal life.
Anxiety can be address and but looking deeper into your life and understated where it came from the support you to move away from your learnt behaviour or programming as a child or even an adult.
At Villa Paradiso Rehab Spain we respect how you feel and how difficult it is to live with anxiety and we will work looking at your behaviours and coping skills to sit you find a more productive way to deal with anxiety and understand the principles of it and learn a new healthy way to cope and reduce even remove it completely with personal, designed programs and understand you are an individual and what you feel is unique to you and together achieve a life more at peace and understanding your body and mind in a safe therapeutic environment.
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- Isolation and Mental Health