Madrid / Caring for mental health is essential in a crisis situation such as that of the coronavirus, a challenge that is exacerbated in the case of health workers, patients, relatives and those with previous disorders. Psychologists turn to help them with free online resources. Here are some of their tips.
Some municipalities have set up hotlines -Three Cantos and Boadilla del Monte, in the Community of Madrid-, professionals have offered free help or rate reductions through Twitter and the Official College of Psychology of Madrid has offered the authorities health services give free assistance to vulnerable groups, people in quarantine and health.
The objective is to provide tools to emotionally manage an unprecedented crisis and with fear and uncertainty as the main ingredients.
This is explained to EFE by the dean of the Madrid College of Psychologists, Fernando Chacón, who has offered his institution to coordinate the members who want to provide care during this coronavirus crisis. They have experience, since they were already present after the attacks of March 11 or plane accidents.
Restrooms and people in quarantine
A group at risk are health workers, forced to make difficult decisions, such as prioritizing patients in the midst of demanding days.
A novel situation, with uncertainty and no time to adapt that generates anxiety, explains the clinical psychologist Vicente Prieto to EFE, who gives two maxims: “airing” emotions, speaking about it with “valid” interlocutors – trusted people or professionals- and “validate” them, knowing that you are not a “bad professional” for feeling anxiety, anguish or fear.
This psychologist advises to “change the register” when leaving the health center, with family and leisure, and also to take “small parentheses” during the working day, lowering the level of anxiety by breathing abdominally, lowering the temperature with cold water or taking walks.
In addition, in a situation in which there is added fear of catching but also of catching it, it is necessary to ask for help if required, assistance that Prieto sees as essential in less experienced toilets.
The confinement situation is also complicated for those who are in quarantine for having tested positive for coronavirus, or having symptoms, forcing them to isolate themselves from their relatives even in their own home.
In addition to the solitude of isolation, there is a concern for one’s own state of health. Fernando Chacón recommends maintaining contact by telephone or telematics, communicating what happens to them and trying to avoid recurring thoughts.
Grief for family members and cases of anxiety
Especially difficult is the impossibility of making wakeings for the deceased. “Mourning when the corpse is not seen, when one cannot dismiss the family member is much more painful,” says Chacón.
The dean recommends that, when possible, a ceremony and farewell be held and, in the meantime, give remote support to family members, transmit memories of the deceased and say goodbye collectively, even from a distance.
In addition, aggravated disorders such as anxiety, claustrophobia or obsessive compulsive disorder or hypochondria can also be seen. “Anyone with a mental illness has fewer resources to cope with a situation of change,” Chacón explains.
Given the feeling of suffocation that anxiety can produce, he recommends relaxation techniques and above all, distract the mind to get away from recurring thoughts about the disease, contagion or the obligation to stay at home.
Routine, exercise and leisure to face confinement
The general recommendation to everyone at home is to establish a routine with space for leisure and exercise; Informing yourself through official channels and not overexposing yourself to news about the coronavirus.
Also keep in touch with family and friends, by phone or online, trying, yes, not to make the epidemic a monotheme.
The health and forensic psychologist Timanfaya Hernández points out to EFE that it is necessary to “control a lot and manage our thoughts well”, to be “cautious” when identifying thoughts that occur “intrusively and continuously” to answer “from rationalization” – “¿ what is true of this ?; What can I do to improve it? and with messages of calm.
Although it is not known how long this state of alarm will last, “we must know that this has a limited time,” he adds.
They will have it easier, says the psychologist Miguel Herrero, “people who have hobbies” because they can be more easily distracted.
And if none of this works, you need to ask for help, the trusted network and professionals.
Online therapy is already a fact for those who cannot move or live outside of Spain. “We are lucky to have tools that at other times would not have existed, take advantage of it, intelligence also has to do with how we adapt,” says Hernández.
Talking about the virus to children
All psychologists agree on the importance of talking to children about the situation. It is necessary to adapt the language and the message to their ages. To achieve this, the Official College of Psychology of Madrid has published a story, ‘Rosa Contra el Virus. Story to explain Coronavirus and other possible viruses ’, adapted for children between 4 and 10 years old.
And it is that, explains Hernández, since the age of 3 and a half and the 4 years “they begin to have the capacity to understand things and generate questions” and there must “be a space for them to solve the doubts they have” and even ask them.
“It is amazing how they answer, they are hilarious, they have a capacity to adapt many times higher than adults,” adds the deputy secretary of the College of Psychology, who asks to be careful with what is said out loud or with television because “they absorb everything ” Also the nerves of mothers and fathers.
Routine is also prescribed for the little ones. It is “fundamental in their lives,” Silvia Fernández, a member of the psycho-pedagogical aid program launched by Tres Cantos, explained by email.
Their current day to day is unlike anything they have experienced before, because each day “seems like a weekend, but without the leisure and full attention of parents who must telework”, something that increases the confusion, so It is necessary to set times, for example, for homework.
And the day after?
It will depend largely on the duration of the state of alarm and the consequences it has, since employment is at stake, a “coherent” concern that further complicates these days.
“After a relatively short period of time, getting back to normal is easy, it’s similar to when you come back from vacation,” explains Herrero, who believes that “there will be people who, when we get back to normal, will feel fine quickly, probably in general.”
Overcoming the trauma, adds Fernando Chacón, “will depend on the skills and social support” so you have to be “especially careful” with “isolated people and no social network” and also with health, because after ” pulling for tension “can have a” slump “not only” emotional but also physical. ” (March 17, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)
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de unos consejos dados por psicólogos para que las personas sepan cómo cuidar su salud mental en tiempos de crisis.
detalladamente de las personas que están confinadas y en cuarentena a causa del coronavirus.
del Colegio de Psicólogos de Madrid de forma genérica.
se recomienda que durante el confinamiento las personas mantengan el contacto por teléfono con familiares o amigos.
se desmiente que no sea bueno tener pensamientos recurrentes durante el confinamiento.
se descarta que los sanitarios puedan sentir miedo o ansiedad a causa de la crisis del coronavirus.
se considera positivo que las personas tengan aficiones ya que les ayuda a tener la mente distraída.
se recomienda que durante el confinamiento las personas solo hablen del coronavirus.
se desmiente que los niños deban tener también una rutina durante el confinamiento.
se desaconseja hablar con los niños de lo que está ocurriendo.
los psicológos no tienen muy claro que sea fácil volver a la normalidad después de haber estado en cuarentena.
es posible realizar una terapia "online" para aquellos que la necesiten.
se desmiente que haya personas que estén trabajando desde casa a causa del estado de alarma.
hay viajeros que utilizan el transporte público ya que deben ir al trabajo.
aún sigue habiendo mucha aglomeración en las calles de España a pesar del estado de alarma.
dar a algo más preferencia.
condicional perfecto del indicativo del verbo exitir.
pretérito pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo del verbo existir.
pretérito perfecto compuesto del subjuntivo del verbo existir.