In an interview with Khabar Online, Somayeh Aqa-Mohammadi has urged the public to take a series of actions to ward off the psychological impact of the pandemic.
How does Corona make us anxious and depressed?
In order to tackle the psychological stress caused by the coronavirus crisis, she says, every person needs to take measures at the individual level, so that they will not suffer from mood disorders such as anxiety, stress, depression and obsession.
Aqa-Mohammadi believes many suffer from a sense of “uncertainty” over what happens after the coronavirus is over, or over the possibility of the diseases lingering on in society.
Anxiety, stress and depression are among the most prevalent mood disorders during the coronavirus infection, and special action should be taken for each one in order to reduce their intensity.
“In the clinical psychology domain, we are facing stressful ‘new assignments’ which means we should do a series of things which didn’t use to exist.
“The first issue for people is the ‘new assignment’ and it is not even clear to us what should actually be done.
“The second issue is ‘uncertainty;’ all of us have uncertainty about our future after the coronavirus outbreak is over.
“The thirds issue which bothers us is related to the domain of social psychology. We have been told that interpersonal relations should be highly restricted. Relations have been limited even within families and with regards to social relationship between friends.
How much have your clinical observations or the number of people coming to you increased? In other words, can we say what percentage of mood and psychological disorders in society is attributable to coronavirus?
We cannot exactly say how many percent, by my clinical observations show individuals with anxiety disorders have seen their problems increase.
People who suffered from obsession an anxiety, or who were aloof and shy, have seen their condition worsened. In fact, a range of our patients became iller.
Some people were suffering from mood disorders such as different types of depression. Their mood has declined because they can’t stand uncertainty. The third point is relations within family and between spouses.
Why has “staying at home,” which is not limited to Iran, cause so much tension and differences?
During home quarantine, certain things emerged within family relationships which shouldn’t have. A husband and wife who each had certain features managed these issues while the other was not present. Now, new behavioral details which were not evident before trigger rows and quarrels.
The other issue is families’ interference which is more frequent during quarantine period at home because family members spend more time together and, on the other hand, the number of friendly and social gatherings has decreased. Another factor is social impatience which has contributed to the problem. Because family members have not much to do, they pick on each other.
We have many families one of whose members has contracted coronavirus and must be completely isolated. Under such circumstances, what is the best action to take to maintain psychological health?
The point is that individuals should control their emotions during the coronavirus outbreak.
The best solution to tackle such conditions is to create a positive and happy atmosphere for the person or family member who has contracted coronavirus. They should accept that coronavirus exists. If someone cannot accept this fact, he or she should separate from each other, so that negative effect will not affect others as well as the infected person himself or herself. In fact, a person who has contracted coronavirus can talk to others through means of communication, but a person who has a negative impact on others should be treated, so that his or her negative viewpoint will not put others into trouble, either.