Coronavirus and psychological and mental health
As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease and the emotional reality of a new normality sinks in, the psychological and mental-health impact of the coronavirus crisis is being felt by many people. Covid-19 has created stress and hardship on numerous levels, both from the effects of lockdown and social restrictions, as well as the threat of the virus itself. Common effects of Covid-19, with implications for psychological health wellbeing, include:
- placing relationships under strain
- conflict with partners, children, friends, colleagues or family members
- pressures of working from home and home schooling
- career, workplace or financial stress, hardship and uncertainty
- loss of usual coping mechanisms and outlets outside the home, such as outdoor activity, socialising and normal routines
- mood difficulties and depression
- fear and anxieties regarding health, or the health of loves ones
- pain of past losses and grief amid constant reminders of death and illness
- sadness, uncertainty, stress and distress at a changed social and economic world
As you navigate your way through these challenges, whatever that may mean for you, we are here to help.For face-to-face, web-based or telephone appointments,
Phone (02) 9331 0756, or e-mail [email protected]
Relationships under strainRelationships are one of the most powerfully influential forces in people's lives where mental health and wellbeing are concerned. They can also be one of the most difficult and complex areas to navigate in a constructive way.
Given that important relationships can be difficult at the best of times, coronavirus has placed an enormous strain on relationships for many people, for a wide range of reasons. With respect to close and intimate relationships, being locked inside together with partners, children or housemates can exacerbate pre-existing relationship problems and patterns. What seemed manageable before lockdown may seem unmanageable now, having spent weeks inside together, particularly under increased stress. Add the absence of usual social and emotional coping outlets outside the home, and what was difficult before Covid-19 can feel overwhelming. Heightened relationship difficulties might take the form of quiet, private suffering or outwardly explosive conflict, and everything in between.
Whether for individuals or couples, our practice has a strong focus on relationship issues and couple therapy. We have been helping people heal and improve their relationships for the past 17 years, and place a premium on remaining abreast of best-practice knowledge and approaches to improving relationships, in ways that are attuned to you and responsive to your particular relationship needs.
Clashes of coping stylesRelationships with friends and colleagues outside the home can also suffer significantly in response to coronavirus. Perhaps as never before our interdependence on one another has been made personally and viscerally real and immediate by the Covid-19 crisis. Friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances have been thrust into a situation whereby we must rely on one another to help contain the virus' spread, as well as navigate the wider social fallout.
Different people will necessarily react to this reality in different ways, and different coping patterns are bound to clash. Some people are naturally cautious and vigilant while others are less threat-focussed, for example. Given what is at stake, differences are less readily swept under the rug than usual, and are more apt to cause problems.
Conflict with friends and colleagues can add a layer of stress to what is already a difficult time, causing pressures to compound. Speaking with a psychologist can help you to understand the patterns affecting your relationships, ease the pain and stress of relationship problems and better resolve or recover from difficulties with those around you.
Opening of psychological woundsMore broadly, the wider societal response to Covid-19 can interact with people's sensitivities, including their life history and trauma, in ways that may cause emotional pain, and even re-open psychological wounds. Those who have suffered the loss of loved ones in the past may experience heightened grief in response to the constant news of death tolls and losses caused by Covid-19, for instance.
For those who have a history of painful rejection and shame, social distancing and hygiene measures may feel alienating and isolating, leading to feeling contaminated and contaminating. For others, coronavirus measures may feel uncomfortably controlling, or the uncertainty of what comes next may seem overwhelming. And for those with a history of significant illness or health anxiety, or loved ones in high risk groups, the prospect of contracting the virus may be extremely frightening.
Whatever your situation, history, coping style or psychological needs, we are here to understand how the coronavirus crisis is affecting you, and to help you understand yourself, so that together we can work to heal wounds, repair relationships and steer a steady course in directions that are meaningful and important to you.