“It was all day to be up and down: I was happy, then I relapsed and was super sad, I didn’t talk to anyone and treated my family very badly.” This is Cristina’s testimony. She had suffered mild anxiety for a long time, but spent three months locked up At home, during the pandemic, her situation worsened.As she was, Ana was also affected by confinement: depression devoured her and an Eating Disorder (Eating Disorder) that she had already had for seven years reappeared.
The pandemic has impacted on the mental health of many people and especially there has been a rebound in young people. The effect that COVID-19 has caused has been to increase or rediscover diseases that were already there. “It is a problem that was already there. For example, mine was not being with myself. Not wanting to be with myself, needing to be with people all the time ”, Ana was sincere. Her TCA reappeared with the confinement. She accused social networks of it. “I saw people doing sports and I thought that I was going to be the only one who was going to gain weight. I started doing sports at home and I went over there ”.
As in many other people who do not necessarily have to suffer from a mental illness, the pandemic created uncertainty for them. In the case of Ana, who admits to being a calculating person and with an internal need to keep everything under control, the feeling of not knowing what could happen next washed over her. At that moment, the only thing he could control was his body. However, what derived from this control was not the return of the ED, but the reappearance of a problem that already appeared when he suffered anorexia at the age of 15: depression. He felt sad, he cried … He was never injured, but thoughts about hurting himself and even taking his own life did haunt his head at times.
Cristina’s anxiety was related to the university. During confinement he became obsessed with studies. “It was like having a person who is telling you what to do all the time. You have to be studying 24 hours a day ”. If Cristina was distracted for more than five minutes, her own disorder would manipulate her. His emotional self-blackmailing forced him to go back to school, because if he didn’t, he could fear the worst ”. that he had to go back. The more time she spent with herself, the more frequent the comments and the worse she related to the outside world.
But Cristina and Ana are not the only cases that the pandemic has affected psychologically. A study by the Complutense University of Madrid reveals that the population between 18 and 34 years of age is the one that has resorted the most to mental health services, has suffered more anxiety attacks, has had more symptoms of sadness and has been people who have modified their usual life the most due to this situation. The study also reveals that 12.6% of people who live with their children or grandchildren have sought professional help for the mental health of their descendants. Of this number, 69.7% have seen psychology professionals.
Experts add that those diagnosed with these mental illnesses in the pandemic already presented their illnesses from before. In other words, what the pandemic has done has been to increase disorders that already existed. Also, this year we have experienced a destigmatization. The media and some political parties are beginning to normalize that one does not always have to have mental health (and that it is okay not to have it). Ana, one of the two girls in the report, appealed to the entire population who felt bad or with different fears. He encouraged them to put themselves in the hands of professionals because “it’s not normal, you don’t have to live like this.”
Mental health has also worsened for adolescents in the wake of the pandemic
The Community of Madrid has launched a Hospitalization Unit for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, that is, for people between 12 and 17 years old, at the Hospital 12 de Octubre. The Unit has an occupational therapy area, leisure areas and a space designed for the affected age group. It is one of the four hospitals that already had a psychiatry unit for this age range: Hospital Puerta de Hierro, El Niño Jesús and Gregorio Marañón. The opening of this new unit is part of a Response Plan to the COVID-19 pandemic promoted by the Community of Madrid, which has been endowed with 3.5 million euros.