Thursday 20th January 2022 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith
Experts from the Department of Health of Dénia (DSD) are warning of the increase in emotional distress, loneliness and despair following the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to DSD clinical psychologist Lorena Cerezo, one of the main reasons for this emotional discomfort lies in the “loss or decrease of social contact, especially in Mediterranean areas, such as Marina Alta, where the population is accustomed to social activities in the open air”.
The clinical psychologist refers to a study conducted in Spain in March 2020, which states that the depressive reaction was the most common among respondents (41-75% of cases) followed by avoidant behaviour (39-68%) and stress (27-66%). With this information in hand, Cerezo says that “although there has been an increase in demand for mental health care, we are not in a position to talk about a pandemic, due to lack of data“.
According to Cerezo, the typical patient who has been diagnosed with a depressive episode during the pandemic is that of a young woman with a significant decrease in income caused by the crisis, as a result of COVID, and who has suffered some type of mental disorder in the past. In addition, she emphasizes that “the situation worsens when patients see how the pandemic is sustained over the months, with different peaks of incidence, and the consequent fear of infection“. Faced with this information, Lorena Cerezo emphasizes the importance of requesting timely help and the positive action that mass vaccination is generating in the most vulnerable patients.
In addition, she said that it is essential to differentiate between sadness and depression. According to the DSD clinical psychologist, sadness is one of the basic human emotions, necessary and adaptive. “Feeling sad is natural, as it allows you to express psychological, physical or emotional pain; while depression is a widespread sadness that begins with time and other symptoms, such as inability to enjoy themselves, weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, fatigue or loss of energy, in addition to having difficulty concentrating or feelings of guilt, among others”.
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