Mental health in the context of a pandemic: social distance

mental health how

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Maria Karoline Silveira Cavalcante, a third year medicine student from the State University of Rio Grande do Norte and member of IFMSA Brazil – UERN. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


We are experiencing an atypical scenario, a pathogen, the SARS-COV-2 virus, the new highly transmissible coranavirus that affects the world, causing a widespread disease. Medical assistance is often still hegemonic, associated with a biologicist view of the disease, especially in the current context, which requires quick and effective responses to fight the virus. Amid guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), presidential decrees and ordinances, whether state or municipal, we see an attempt to establish social isolation within the conditions of existence of each individual.

Isolation has been shown to be an efficient resource in several countries around the world in combating the virus, however we cannot fail to analyze its consequences on the psychological of people, especially in a society adorned by a historical moment conducive to so many triggers for mental illnesses. Today’s society is psychologically stagnant and with the decreed social withdrawal, problems that extend beyond the biologicist field of the new coronavirus pandemic are visible: they affect the socialization of individuals and, consequently, collaborate in cases of emotional and mental imbalance as needed to keep the distance from the closest and dearest individuals.

In a century already affected by neuronal pathologies, coexistence with depression, hyperactivity (ADHD) borderline personality disorder (TPL) or burnout syndrome (SB) is commonplace, as indicated by Byung-Chul, these problems end up intensifying, associating with the biologicist field of the new coronavirus pandemic, starting to reach the socialization of individuals and, consequently, collaborates for cases of emotional and mental imbalance according to the need to keep the distance from the closest and dearest individuals. The potential threat and risk of exposure to the pathology generate numerous emotions, feelings of fear and anxiety, activating physiological mechanisms of fight and flight, with positive feedback from the autonomous system, generating physical pathologies of considerable severity, which are added to pathologies of mental origin and have an impact on the quality of life of these people in times of pandemic.

Social distancing is necessary so that the new coronavirus does not take on greater proportions, however psychological and multiprofessional support is necessary, both for the general population and for health professionals, with a focus on promoting mental health, associated with the dissemination of information, arising from reliable sources and ignore the famous “fake news” so that there is no toxic coexistence in times of crisis. It is necessary for everyone to collaborate in this fight, a fight that crosses the medical front lines, affecting humanistic, social norms and mental health, because society can be compared to what is called by Émile Durkheim “biological body”, in which the body parts must interact with each other in order to acquire harmony and homeostasis.

Reference

ORNELL, Felipe. “Pandemic fear” and COVID-19: mental health burden and strategies. Brazilian Journal Of Psychiatry, [s.l.], 17 abr. 2020. FapUNIFESP (SciELO). http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2020-0011.

About the author

Maria Karoline Silveira Cavalcante is a third year medicine student from the State University of Rio Grande do Norte and member of IFMSA Brazil – UERN, where she is also director of Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV&AIDS (LORA-D). She had the oportunity to be part of extension projects as an extension worker and coordinator, carrying out health education activities and improving the quality of life, in which mental health is highlighted and addressed, being considered of great importance in medical care.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

The ITU Telecom World on 14-17 November in Bangkok, Thailand

Prospect of negotiated peace in Afghanistan ‘never been more real’ – UN mission chief

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

Access to health in the developping world

The Great Reset after COVID-19 must put people first

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Why schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not the past

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief

There is no patient safety without healthcare workers’ safety

The future of science could be in your gut. Here’s why

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Commission steps up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

5 shocking facts about inequality, according to Oxfam’s latest report

These 10 countries are the best at respecting children’s rights

Draghi strives to control the unruly exploitation of financial markets by banking leviathans

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

‘Our concern now is the southern hemisphere’ – COVID Action Platform convenes leaders on the challenges ahead

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

250 days until the European Parliament elections

‘An unprecedented fiscal response’ – political and business leaders on managing the coronavirus crisis

4 ways to cyberproof your business during mergers & acquisitions

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

‘Deeply concerned.’ WHO officials stress the need for continued vigilance – WHO briefing

Parliament requests further action to save EU tourism

‘Let the children live’: UN prepares to ramp up food aid to Yemen as famine risk grows

Artificial Intelligence: a danger to mankind, or the key to a better world?

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

EU and Australia launch talks for a broad trade agreement

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

Boosting adult learning essential to help people adapt to future of work

Agreement on EU instrument supporting border management and common visa policy

A clean energy future with hydrogen could be closer than we think

State aid: Commission approves €9 billion Italian “umbrella” scheme to support economy in coronavirus outbreak

Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

UN chief hails ‘very important role’ of Human Rights Council, as US withdraws, citing alleged bias

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

Five ways individuals can help save the oceans

Adolescent health has been overlooked for too long

The EU’s trading partners: US, China and the rest

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

EU should set goal to end homelessness by 2030

Despite falling attacks, ISIL terrorists remain ‘global threat’: UN report

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Japan must urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Israeli settlements remain ‘flagrant violation’ of international law, UN envoy tells Security Council

Should we be worried about third-hand smoke?

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Cross-border cooperation: the EU Interreg programme celebrates 30 years of bringing citizens closer together

Work to make the world a better place: 5 things you need to know about ‘green jobs’

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

‘Air bridge’ vaccination operation begins for Ebola-hit communities in DR Congo

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. A year with a lot of bad things, wishing the whole world would get over it. Thanks for your very meaningful post.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s