How to cope with uncertainty when it peaks

How to cope with uncertainty when it peaks
How to cope with uncertainty when it peaks 

The pandemic has triggered the concerns of the population in the last year. A situation that has brought with it the increase in the consumption of some drugs and significant social changes.

Although they are transversal, the concerns of the population may vary depending on the age group in question. Although they are transversal, the concerns of the population may vary depending on the age group in question. Almost a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, many experts take stock these days of the consequences that the health crisis leaves in society at the mental level. Doubts about the evolution of the virus and therefore the impact of their impact on our daily lives have made that uncertainty stand out as one of the main concerns of the population to various economic, -labor health levels.

Thus, its proper management is a fundamental element for general well-being. In this sense, mental health professionals, who have detected increases in consultations in recent months, propose solutions such as setting short-term goals to have a greater sense of control, take advantage of available social and personal resources or seek help with a specialist.

"Consultations increased during the pandemic," says psychiatrist and psychotherapist Eva Doménech, who highlights adaptive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, psychosomatic disorders, anxiety disorders, reactive depressives, obsessive-compulsives, eating disorders, and, to a lesser extent, those with a paranoid hue.

In reference to uncertainty, the expert indicates that for the human being it is synonymous with 'vital alert', loss of security, and, sometimes, uneasiness, in addition to putting resilience to the test. "Managing it implies accepting that life is not static but dynamic. We live continuous changes, nothing is forever. We must analyze the situation and explain to ourselves what we can do, what is in our power, and what strategies we can try to assume what seems irremediable, as well as advising us with specialists. We have to look for short-term objectives to have a greater sense of control, "adds the professional.

The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome

The economic crisis and the coronavirus main problems in Spain, with unemployment in third place.n Armed with prudence and individual responsibility, aware of our vulnerability, it is time to learn to return. Symptoms related to worries that are triggered in each age group are cross-sectional and can affect people of all age ranges. "Children adapt more easily to the requirements of the environment the clearer the rules and the more accepted they are by adults, this is confirmed by teachers and families. Although in this phase anxiety-producing behavioral disorders and disorders of While adolescents experience frustrations and reduced interests, which carries a greater risk of abuse of computer devices, in addition to the fear of being forgotten by their peers and of losing belonging to the group and the need to control your body is accentuated, causing alterations in eating behavior, "says Doménech.

Considering the case of adults between 30 and 40 years old, it should be noted that they suffer from certain social withdrawal with family overload, striving for work-life balance, fears about the economic future and, to a lesser degree, the consumption of toxins increases. Those between 40 and 50 years old, meanwhile, "are overwhelmed with economic and work concerns, as well as with the reduction of social relationships and the care of their elders and children, which causes disagreements in the couple ", assures the psychiatrist. 

And those over 65 to 70 years old, says the expert, suffer enormously with the lack of physical contact with their family. In this group, feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and hopelessness also appear, and emotional vulnerability is emphasized, with human fragility being too present with illness and death. Likewise, cognitive abilities are impaired.

Drug consumption

Although the figures for the consumption of certain drugs in the country were already high before the pandemic, factors such as fear of infection or family members, hospital admissions, deaths, confinements, or economic and employment uncertainty have led to more increases have been given.

"There have been two worrying situations. First, the increase in the number of hypnotics and tranquilizers recommended by Primary Care and, second, the disturbance in access to essential medications prescribed by mental health services," explains Alfonso Pérez Poza, President of the Aragonese and Riojan Society of Psychiatry.

What to do with expired medications?

The use of painkillers, anxiolytics, and inhalers is skyrocketing in the pandemic. Pharmacies are "normally" recalling valsartan-containing hypertension drugs. Drug addicts consume more alcohol and drugs during confinement

The professional points out that the health crisis has revealed that the increase in the consumption of these drugs, mainly those of a sedative type, is a generalized pattern in society as a mechanism to be able to face certain situations. "The risk of abuse and dependence on certain types is evident, generally benzodiazepines. In practice, their use has become widespread and, despite the fact that psychiatry advises against this type of use, it is difficult to combat certain social uses," says Pérez Poza.

As for the keys to addressing uncertainty, the expert is committed to prioritizing the monitoring of loneliness and early interventions. "Understanding how to deal individually situations like this will be part of the answer. The social and personal resources-for example, see family and sleep sufficiently available are important factors related to resilience to mitigate the difficulties. Working mechanisms coping and prevention in mental health from an early age has become a priority. And a healthy lifestyle, a sustainable formula for each individual, is the successful strategy for this moment, "says the psychiatrist.

Social changes

The social changes that the population has experienced in the last year are also another element to highlight in relation to uncertainty. "The pandemic has affected above all the most dependent social groups with fewer economic and personal resources. The reports that different public and private institutions have published on poverty are showing us this. Situations of severe and extreme poverty have increased independent social groups, which lack the basic resources to be able to meet their needs, "says Carlos Gómez, professor of Sociology at the University of Zaragoza.

The teacher emphasizes that the pandemic has produced an ambivalent sensation in the collective imagination. "On the one hand, the change that has occurred in the last year at the level of technological development and use of 'online' technology has been very important and is here to stay. On the other, we have learned how economic growth does not guarantee the stability of developed societies The existence of pockets of spatial and territorial poverty and of underdeveloped and dependent countries, in a communicated and interrelated world, prevents us from maintaining security redoubts while the differences in GDP and per capita income are so disparate. global world, with high levels of exchange and mobility, where what happens in one country affects others ", concludes Gómez.

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