What psychological effects will occur after the pandemic?
Specialist clinical psychologist İrem Göncüoğlu provided information on the topic.
The word pandemic, which entered our lives in 2020, has a different meaning for each individual. While it evokes trauma and loss for some, could it be avoided? Can it be avoided? as miracles and wishes are experienced in a psychologically harmful way. Sudden and unexpected deaths, lack of interpersonal contact and distance from each other, quarantine measures that prevent individuals from spending time with their relatives and sharing, provided an impromptu confrontation with collective trauma. This trauma, which includes feelings of loneliness, fear and helplessness, caused all other deep-seated fears and anxieties from the past to be activated and revealed. The way in which everyone deals with the emotions that arise is also very different.
Individuals can feel helpless, vulnerable and unprotected when they have nothing to do when faced with a situation over which they have no control. When all these feelings arise, changes can be seen in individuals’ responses to loss and law. It is very difficult to face these reactions. Because in fact many people have not lost just one family member; At the same time, he felt that he himself had lost something in this process.
Moreover, facing an uncertain epidemic that includes uncertainty and creepiness has increased the stress of life, disrupting the existing order of life, withdrawing and withdrawing from collective family and friend gatherings and social life. Endurance, ie the ability to cope with all these factors, and which has been extensively tested in this process, was often insufficient against this intense stress. The emergence of many diseases was due to the fact that people stayed away from their work and social life, turned to their own bodies and began to feel various pains by listening to body signals. In this case, the psychological effects experienced with the change of spending habits, financial stress, living comfort and many other factors are unavoidable and continue to increase day by day.
Stress, anxiety, loss, insecurity, helplessness, burnout, loneliness, separation, sadness and maladaptive and unhealthy behaviors used to deal with all these negative emotions, decreased physical activity, irregular sleep, unwanted weight gain and an increase in addictions are observed. When the person is unable to cope with the situation he encounters, all these negative effects lead to the widespread occurrence of diseases and various symptoms in individuals. Coping and resilient people seem able to see this experience as growth, learning and adaptation.
While resilience does not eliminate the difficulties and stressors encountered, it can reduce the effects of stress sources associated with the perceived negative process. So what to do if resilience is not enough to cope with all these negative emotions during and after the pandemic?
First, investigate what caused the intense fear that I was experiencing, “What am I worried about?” look for the answer to the question; It is helpful to be aware of the frightening aspects of the process and to examine within yourself. This discovery comes about by taking time for yourself, staying with yourself and touching this side of your psyche and also listening to yourself. Normal reactions are not expected in the face of abnormal situations, and the expectation of this from oneself results in an increase in anxiety and deadlock when this expectation is not fulfilled. For this reason, it is necessary to remind yourself that all these reactions are the result of an abnormal effect, that the feeling and mood can be normal and that many people in the world go through similar processes and experience similar difficulties. Making room for negative emotions, experiencing these emotions ensures that we are not unprepared for the next emotion and that ways are developed to deal with it. Reinvesting in relationships will help the person turn their face outward by providing the transition to normalization. The person should increase his awareness of himself by exploring what is good for him. Understanding these processes, being active, identifying and increasing fun activities will have a positive effect. In this process, when you are faced with similar feelings and situations and when it becomes difficult to deal with them, it will be very helpful to get support from a specialist.