The Psychological Effects of Lockdowns


The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected society in many different ways. Many countries have enforced lockdowns to lower the number of Coronavirus cases. These lockdowns have a significant effect on one's environment, income, and especially mental health. 

Due to the Coronavirus, many people have become unemployed. Unemployment can cause much stress by itself. Worrying about making ends meet, paying your bills, and worrying about making it through the week can cause much stress. 

In addition to that, these people are stuck at home with their families and kids. The kindergartens and schools are closed during a lockdown; therefore, the parents are responsible for entertaining their kids and homeschooling them. This makes everyday very stressful! This is especially hard for people who are working from home. People who work from home are expected to stay on top of their jobs and entertain their kids. This is an impossible task without help. 

Many psychologists have observed that during a lockdown, stress increases. People who already have pre-existing anxiety and depression have higher amounts of mental health problems, and those who didn't have mental health problems have developed fear. According to the CDC, people have experienced up to 53% more mental health problems. 

Results show that Italians followed the Italian government's provisions to avoid contamination, but 43% of them declared to have suffered from physical symptoms, particularly migraine, sleep disorders, persistent exhaustion, and difficulty of concentration.

Many people are also experiencing adverse side effects from the lockdowns, such as difficulty sleeping, difficulty eating, and an increase in alcohol consumption. This can take a tremendous toll on people's personal lives, and many of these issues can be long-lasting. 

How the Elderly experience lockdowns

Lockdowns are especially hard on older adults, even though what's causing them stress differs from other age brackets.  During this stage of life, financial concerns aren't usually at the top of the list. People already plan how they will survive financially in their golden years. They have retired, so the lack of income causing such immense pressure for most society doesn't apply.

Coronavirus is very scary for people over 60 because they are worried about getting infected with the disease and possibly dying. A lot of the elderly population are also concerned with one day needing to be admitted to a Coronavirus ward where communication to their loved ones is severely limited, and they would mostly be on their own. Additionally, people who are older keep themselves busy by seeing their children, their grandchildren, and their friends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these things aren't safe, and during a lockdown, you can get fined for this. 

The older people who are under a lockdown are forced to be home alone without company. This can cause a lot of mental health issues. They might develop anxiety, depression, and they might feel useless and without a purpose. In addition, during a lockdown, they continuously see young people who (despite the lockdown) are still walking around and not wearing their masks properly. This makes them feel even more frustrating. 

Overall, the lockdowns are hard on everyone, and they can have a lot of negative side effects on people. The critical thing to remember is that many people are experiencing mental health issues. You are not alone, you are not the first to share this, and you won't be the last!

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