7 Causes of Anxiety in Times of COVID-19
Several aspects associated with the coronavirus pandemic that foster the onset of stress.
A useful selection of the main sources of anxiety that may arise during the COVID-19 crisis.
Facing a new and threatening situation such as a pandemic can be a real challenge with implications for our physical and mental health as individuals, as well as for those around us.
The truth is that the coronavirus pandemic has been for many people a generator of anxiety and stress, and this anxiety has had and continues to have not just one, but many causes.
Some people have coped better than others with the stressful effects of the pandemic, but either way, living in times of COVID-19 is, for many people, synonymous with frequent worries, anxiety-generating situations, and anxiety about the pandemic.The need to adopt new habits of life and the establishment of new social norms.
Causes of anxiety in times of the coronavirus pandemic.
The essential characteristics of each source of anxiety in times of COVID-19 are summarized here.
1. Fear of contagion
Fear of contagion itself is one of the primary fears during a prolonged period of pandemic. The constant worry about the possible spread of the virus, either from the fact of contracting the virus or from the fact of being infected.The main cause of anxiety in the context of this health and social crisis is the constant concern that we might catch the virus, either by touching objects ourselves or by someone else infecting us.
Being aware of the dangers of the disease is a responsible attitude towards the pandemic; however, maintaining an exaggerated level of alarm and concern about contagion throughout the day can end up causing states of sustained anxiety that in the long run tend to produce psychological and even physical wear and tear.
Therefore, it is advisable to maintain daily hygiene and safety protocols, with total firmness and tranquility, trusting at all times that with these measures we are in the optimal balance between minimizing the risk of infection and emotionally healthy living habits, without allowing panic, hysteria or anxiety to dominate us.
2. Fear of losing one's job
The coronavirus crisis has had devastating consequences both for the global economy and for the employment of many families around the world. Millions of people have lost their jobs and many more live every day in fear of losing their jobs, a cause of anxiety that adds to the already worrying health situation..
This conjunction between the threat of the virus and the uncertainty of all those people who do not know if they will keep their jobs in the future, generates significant states of anxiety and fear for the future, which undoubtedly affect the person's daily life.
For those people who have a family to take care of, the possible loss of their job is an even more worrying prospect, since the support of their children or other family members depends on their salaries. In cases like this, the key lies in how this anxiety is managed, as it often becomes part of the problem and hinders the adoption of measures to adapt to the new situation in the best possible way.
3. Contagion of a loved one
In the same way that we worry about our own infection, during a pandemic, our concerns are also transferred, even to a greater extent, to the health of family and friends, especially those who are most intimate and most vulnerable to Respiratory illnesses, in this case.In this case, especially those who are most intimate and most vulnerable to respiratory illnesses.
The moment a family member, especially if he or she belongs to the population at risk of infection, contracts the virus, worry and anxiety about his or her condition become intense and constant; our mind explores different hypothetical situations to try to anticipate events.
A high level of worry and stress sustained over time can also be a great source of anxiety that, in times of pandemic, can affect the health of the person and also their proper functioning in their day-to-day life.
4. Excess of bad news
Repeated exposure, over a short period of time, to a systematic bombardment of bad news in the media can also generate anxiety in any person and even more intensely affect his or her emotional health. in the media can also generate anxiety in any individual and even more intensely affect his or her emotional health.
The excessive media coverage of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, together with the various waves of contagions that have been occurring, make this disease the main topic of every day in all areas of life, which can become physically and mentally saturating for many people.
5. Anxiety due to lack of social contact
Confinement and patterns of physical and social distancing have been the norm in the first months of the pandemic.
These behavioral norms have been installed in our society for an indefinite period of time.In addition to having an obvious impact on social customs and conventions, they can also negatively affect the mental health of a large part of the population.
The lack of physical contact with others, not being able to see our loved ones during confinement and long periods of teleworking alone at home, can cause states of anxiety and even depression in specific cases.
6. Anxiety due to the economic and social situation
As mentioned above, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our society in terms of health, but also in the economic and social spheres.
This has has meant that in many cases, the anguish caused by the global health crisis is mixed with concern about the general economic situation. and for the transformation that this may entail for a country, which results in a cocktail of suffering and desolation that generates states of anxiety, frustration or stress in the general population, especially in the poorest strata.
7. Change in life habits
All the factors described above can have a significant influence on a person's daily functioning and cause changes or difficulties in maintaining the same patterns and habits of life as before the pandemic. These changes, in turn, can also be a source of anxiety and discomfort in a person's life.
Some of the areas in which anxiety in times of COVID-19 can change habitual patterns of behavior include difficulties in falling asleep or changes in sleep patterns, changes in eating habits, and changes in the way a person eats and drinks.The difficulties in concentrating on tasks or the increase of health problems to be taken care of.
Are you interested in psychotherapy?
In times of pandemic crisis it is normal to need professional psychological help so that the day to day does not overwhelm us. If you think you are going through a bad time or even that you may be developing a psychological disorder, I invite you to contact our team; at PSiCOBAi we will assist you and help you with the most effective forms of psychotherapeutic intervention adapted to your case.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)