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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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Home Health News The emotional impact of Lockdown 2.0 - Sydney Morning Herald

The emotional impact of Lockdown 2.0 – Sydney Morning Herald

We thought we had COVID-19 licked; we packed the kids back off to school, resurrected our social calendars and made plans for the next family holiday. Only to be left instead with numb disappointment, mild panic and anxious frustration.
What does this sort of thing do to one’s mental state?
If people assumed that they were done with the life-affecting, traumatic experience brought on by the pandemic and the lockdown, then finding out that it has returned would most likely cause more distress compared to last time, says psychologist Dr Rowan Burckhardt.
Australias Black Dog Institute estimates that between 25 and 33 per cent of the community will experience significant anxiety and distress during the pandemic.
Its a bit like the difference between knowing we have eight days of hiking in front of us compared to believing that we’ve finished a four-day hike, only to be told we have another four days to go, says Dr Burckhardt. We prepare ourselves mentally and that creates expectations. When those expectations get violated, we are going to be affected more.
During the first lockdown there was a unified feeling of ‘we’ll get through this’ now that the curve has shot up again, Dr Burckhardt says its normal to feel depleted and a little out of control.
There is also added distress about economic outcomes and around those in charge, such as politicians, business owners and other decision makers, says Dr Burckhardt. All of it contributes to heightened levels of anxiety and greater uncertainty for our future.
In the US, where over 3 million people are currently battling the virus, theyve recorded a six per cent rise in Broken Heart Syndrome where the traditional symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath, weakness and heart pain, are felt as a result of severe emotional and physical stress.
Whats to be done? One thing that can help this time is actually using the lessons from last time, says Dr Burckhardt. In a sense, we got a practice run. We can reflect on what things we did that helped and do more of those and do less of the others. But above all, he says Remind yourself that it will pass, this is a temporary situation.

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