Before the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the concept of quarantine belonged to medical curiosities rather than being reflected in our everyday reality. The last months, full of uncertainty and limitations, are a hard time for each of us. Have you recently felt depressed and apathy? Learn more about the relationship between quarantine and depression!
Did you know that depression is the fourth most serious health problem in the world?
It is difficult to properly assess the scale of the problem of depression in Poland – according to official NFZ statistics, about 650,000 Poles, i.e. almost 3% of the population, suffer from depression. This is optimistic data – the smallest percentage among all European countries. Does this mean that Poles are less likely to suffer from depression and are happier? Unfortunately, experts unanimously say that these are highly understated data. Low public awareness of mental health, stigmatization and poor access to specialist care mean that a large proportion of patients do not receive the diagnosis and necessary assistance.
It is popular to say that depression is a democratic disease. There is a lot of truth in it, because depressive disorder can affect anyone – regardless of age, gender or social status. This disease can appear both in the period of life balance and during traumatic experiences such as job loss, illness or death of a loved one. Therefore, it is worth considering the impact of COVID-19 disease on the development of depression and mental health.
How does the quarantine period affect our mental health?
The impact of quarantine on mental health has been extensively studied in the past of SARS, MERS, Ebola and influenza A/H1N1 epidemics. Scientific publications indicate an increased risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, i.e. PTSD. It is directly related to long-term stress, which can be a consequence of, among others:
- fear of infecting yourself or loved ones;
- restrictions on people-to-people (social distancing) contacts and a sense of isolation;
- loss of daily routine;
- fear of losing a job and suffering financial losses;
- fear of lack of necessities such as water, food or medicine;
- limited access to medical care;
- insufficient government information on the current situation and procedures implemented.
Depression is a sneaky illness – don’t ignore its symptoms
When does depression start, and when you just feel bad and lonely during quarantine? It’s really hard to assess your own condition yourself, so making a diagnosis is a task for a specialist. On the other hand, some of the following symptoms may persist for at least 2 weeks:
- depressed mood, sadness or anhedonia, i.e. the inability to feel pleasure;
- loss of interest and willingness to act;
- feeling tired and losing energy;
- reduced self-esteem;
- feeling guilty;
- difficulty concentrating and attention;
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts;
- increased or decreased appetite;
- insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
Depressive disorders can take many forms, so be alert to any worrying symptoms.
Read more: Depression
It is also worth paying attention to changes in the behavior of your loved ones, especially during the stressful period of quarantine – depression now has a facilitated basis for development.
Where can I get help during quarantine?
Are you worried about your or your loved one’s mental health, and the symptoms you see resemble depression? Do not wait for self-improvement and do not ignore alarming signals! In this case, it is worth turning to a specialist for help to dispel your doubts or start any therapy. The first step should be a visit to an experienced psychologist who will thoroughly assess the patient’s mental state and provide extensive information about further proceedings.
During the quarantine, a visit to a psychologist can be significantly impeded. Many psychological offices are currently closed, while some people are forced to undergo a period of isolation during which they should not leave the house. And some of us just want to minimize the risk of infection with the virus. In such cases, it is worth using online psychological counseling, enabling you to obtain the necessary help from the comfort of your own home. The patient can choose the most comfortable form of contact, i.e. telephone, email or Skype consultations. Remember, seeking help is not a shame!
Read more: Counseling Online