Containment, deconfinement, re-containment, curfews, job losses and benchmarks … More than a year after the discovery of the COVID-19 virus, the effects of the pandemic are being felt on mental health. With the major consequence of the marked increase in mental disorders. ” The human being needs to project and currently, it is impossible. It’s very difficult to live from day to day and manage the unknown »Explains Sophie Marchand, French psychotherapist based in the Bay of San Francisco, California.
A point of view shared by Aude de Villeroché, psychologist, therapist and founder of the Soignants dans le Monde network. The latter underlines the difficulty of the situation for expatriates. ” Many cannot travel and live in difficult material conditions. There are questions of papers, travel, geographic separation, schooling, quarantine … The explosion of their usual landmarks generates potential suffering »She explains.
A third wave of psychiatry
The anxiety-provoking context coupled with various concerns – fear of being sick, that relatives are sick or of transmitting the virus – creates great emotional fatigue. Result? Cases of stress, anxiety, depression and self-harming behavior are skyrocketing. Aude de Villeroché specifies: “We see many somatic problems, sleep disorders, eating disorders and addictions. Nervousness and feelings of anger also cause tension in relationships. “. These are all upward trends around the world according to several scientific studies.
The medical authorities are thus on alert and some French psychiatrists even evoke a third wave of a psychic nature. Therapeutic practices are also running at full speed. “There is such a feeling of isolation that having a professional listening ear becomes essential. It is true that there are more requests, including additional sessions, which had never happened to me! Patients come despite the leave and I feel a real need for continuity »Says Sophie Marchand.
Covid, revealing virus
The two specialists also note a particularly strong mental load in women who “take more on their shoulders right now “. And they highlight that no one is equal in the face of this crisis. “It’s a question of personality. It all depends on the inner tools that everyone has been able to develop for themselves and their capacity for resilience (ability to bounce back in the face of adversity). If we were fragile before Covid, then we are hit hard. The Covid acts as a revealer »Assures Sophie Marchand.
If intimate resources influence psychic reactions, so do practical resources. “The regularity of income, the comfort of housing or the family situation have a strong impact. You only have to observe the resurgence of domestic violence … The Covid actually accentuates the fragilities»Adds Aude de Villeroché. Finally, the blurring of the boundaries between the private and professional spheres, internal and external, and a modified time management increase the disturbances felt. “This unstructured life leads to a loss of meaning, the loss of why and it is the door open to excesses and addictions …»Explains the founder of the Soignants du Monde network.
Solutions and opportunities
In order to fight against the anguish linked to these losses of meaning and landmarks, we must take action. How? ‘Or’ What ? By preventing things from settling. ” The key word: allow yourself! People don’t allow themselves enough to take care of themselves. No miracle recipe to achieve this, everyone must explore what makes them feel good »Says Sophie Marchand. To do this, she encourages people to try calming activities. Meditate, walk, write in a journal, read, take a bath, call a loved one, garden, cook, do sophrology, yoga or consult a coach… And “turn off the news on television that weakens”Says Aude de Villeroché!
” The support is found in concrete actions that avoid thinking about it. It allows you to live in the present moment. And in all cases, letting go is necessary …»Advises the psychologist. A letting go is essential to stay the course and develop moral stamina. An obligatory passage which, according to experts, can turn into luck.
Both consider this unique period as a moment of beneficial introspection. Sophie Marchand supports this idea: “The Covid shows you where you stand and what you are capable of handling. We can therefore see this period as an opportunity and focus on the positive aspect: a challenge to grow ”. And Aude de la Villeroché to add: “The Covid forces you to think about the foundations of your way of life and of your relationships. There are things to be learned from it that will remain in the future …“. While waiting to be able to take stock, it is first a question of listening to yourself, of taking care of yourself and of being as positive as possible.