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  • Let's talk about how strange, confusing

  • and stressful this pandemic has been for people.

  • Because we probably don't talk about it enough.

  • Social distancing, the world economy at a standstill

  • a rising global death toll.

  • None of it is normal.

  • a rising global death toll.

  • None of it is normal.

  • There's no way to come out of this normal. At least not having something affecting your psyche.

  • We put a call out to our viewers

  • to find out how you're feeling.

  • Some of us are bored, tired, grateful, productive

  • paranoid, inspired or just plain done with it.

  • The COVID-19 virus is not only attacking our physical health

  • is also increasing psychological suffering.

  • And while we worry about keeping the virus away

  • and staying physically fit

  • how do we protect our mental health too?

  • In some parts of the world lockdowns have stretched on

  • for weeks even months.

  • There's talk of more down the road.

  • And in countries where restrictions are being lifted

  • we're still keeping our distance

  • and we're not socialising the way we used to.

  • The consensus is all of that is having an effect on us

  • and our mental health.

  • You've probably heard that

  • human beings are considered social animals.

  • Well that's based on science.

  • Humans are one of the most vulnerable species

  • at birth and need to rely on others for survival.

  • Our brains have adapted to having others

  • as our baseline.

  • And so when this lack of proximity

  • to trusted others is absent

  • then it puts us in a heightened state of alert.

  • Essentially our brains are hardwired to feel safe

  • knowing we can turn to others if we need to.

  • So whenever we feel lonely

  • the fight or flight area in our brain releases

  • stress hormones like adrenaline

  • into our nervous system.

  • And if we stay in that state of alert for a long time

  • it starts having a physical effect on our body.

  • Like on our digestive and immune systems.

  • The risk of heart attack, stroke

  • and type 2 diabetes can also go up.

  • Some studies show that loneliness

  • can even shorten your life.

  • What we found was that loneliness was associated with

  • a 26% increase risk for earlier death.

  • Social isolation at a 29%, and living alone a 32%.

  • But it's not just isolation that's stressing out

  • our brains and bodies.

  • It's everything.

  • The number of coronavirus cases globally has crossed 4 million.

  • All anyone talks about is the pandemic.

  • We're overwhelmed by constant news updates

  • some of them true and some of them false.

  • And that information overload can cause anxiety.

  • For some of us we have this belief that we can try

  • to control this anxiety by excessively worrying about it

  • consuming more and more information

  • and that might actually feed into the anxiety.

  • But most things seem to be out of our control.

  • And that uncertainty is wearing people down.

  • Fear and anxiety, stress.

  • These are all incredibly normal responses to this situation.

  • Anxiety is a natural reaction to something that is uncertain anyway.

  • And this pandemic is the most uncertain time that any of us have lived through.

  • Maybe you're having trouble sleeping

  • or you just feel a bit weird.

  • Almost like it's Groundhog Day.

  • I'm reliving the same day over and over.

  • You might be fine one day

  • and feel totally over it the next.

  • A lot depends on your experience of this pandemic.

  • You might be dealing with trauma

  • after recovering from the virus.

  • Maybe you've lost someone.

  • Maybe you've lost your job.

  • Some people were struggling to put food on the table

  • even before the lockdown.

  • Or maybe you've had to upend your work or school routine.

  • There's already evidence that young adults

  • and children are feeling it.

  • An Oxford University study found that 1 in 5 children

  • are now afraid to leave their homes.”

  • And then there are those with

  • preexisting mental health issues

  • like people with diagnosed depression

  • who might feel particularly vulnerable right now.

  • It's also elderly people terrified about contracting the virus.

  • And it's healthcare workers dealing with the sick

  • and being afraid of getting sick themselves.

  • Honestly guys I felt like I was working in a warzone.

  • For me to say I don't feel fear going into a room

  • or anxiety, that my heart doesn't start pounding

  • and my stomach doesn't turn, is a lie.

  • Mental health experts say an entire generation

  • of medical workers will likely suffer

  • prolonged psychological effects

  • from working through this pandemic.

  • It's those prolonged effects that

  • mental health specialists are worried about.

  • Because we just don't know when we'll see

  • the back of this pandemic.

  • Yes some countries are starting to lift the lockdowns.

  • But life isn't exactly going back to normal.

  • And there's no guarantee that

  • the number of cases won't spike again.

  • The virus is going to stay for a while.

  • It's going to stay for a few years.

  • Even if after we get the vaccine

  • the vaccine will not eradicate the virus.

  • The vaccine will decrease the transmission rate.

  • This virus basically can go away

  • but it goes back like seasonal flu.

  • That means that whatever we're feeling now

  • could last a while.

  • After the SARS epidemic in 2003

  • people still showed what's calledavoidance behavior”.

  • A study found that about one-fifth of people

  • were avoiding public spaces weeks later.

  • One-quarter avoided crowded and enclosed places.

  • And just over half still avoided people

  • who coughed or sneezed.

  • I do worry that there will be continued

  • lingering fear around being close to others.

  • There are also concerns about other ways

  • people might respond.

  • A report in the Lancet medical journal says

  • there are suggestions that the number of deaths

  • by suicide will rise.

  • In Australia, for instance, calls to this helpline have gone up

  • by 40% since the pandemic began.

  • But there's not a lot of data yet

  • linking suicide rates to COVID-19.

  • Specialists we've spoken to say that first of all

  • people who decide to take their own life

  • do it for several reasonsnot just one.

  • That an increase in calls to support lines

  • doesn't necessarily indicate an increase in suicidal actions.

  • And that more people reaching out

  • might actually be a good thing.

  • In fact some researchers say people who've already

  • sought mental health treatment

  • are in a better position to cope.

  • They're actually better prepared for this isolation

  • in pandemic because of coping mechanisms

  • and resilience measures that they've learned

  • in the past already.

  • There's actually a lot of research being done

  • to find out what positive effects

  • might come from this pandemic.

  • The sense of solidarity, the sense of togetherness

  • that may come from this.

  • There may be some comfort in knowing that

  • others are experiencing something similar.

  • There may be the potential positive effects of reducing stigma around this.

  • So greater willingness to talk about it.

  • So greater willingness to talk about it.

  • Seeing mental health and emotional well-being as a natural part of all of our lives.

  • So anything that's more able to break the stigma is good from our side.

  • So here are a few things we can do

  • to keep our mental health in check.

  • Really good to find ways to kind of have a little project

  • task or little ways to achieve something

  • throughout the day.

  • Pick up a phone and check in on family members

  • friends, neighbors.

  • The best thing that you can do is inform yourself

  • with legitimate sources.

  • The easiest way to do that is to look to

  • the World Health Organization.

  • Facts minimise fear.

  • Whatever you're feeling you're definitely not the only one.

  • We're all affected by it.

  • And if you're really struggling it's ok to ask for help.

  • The World Health Organization has an online

  • campaign called HealthyAtHome

  • that has lots of advice.

  • Depending on where you live you can also get help online

  • or over the phone.

  • And if you're watching on Youtube

  • we'll leave some links below this video.

  • See you next week.”

Let's talk about how strange, confusing

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B1 US mental health health mental pandemic anxiety people

How does the lockdown affect our mental health? | Start Here

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    joey joey posted on 2021/10/13
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