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Confinement puts the mental health of the most vulnerable at risk

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More and more voices warn of an increase in mental disorders as a result of confinement by coronavirus.

Psychologists and health experts warn of the negative impact on the mental health of the most vulnerable people that make up the risk groups, such as the chronically ill and individuals with psychiatric pathologies previous.

  • Related article: "Mental health: definition and characteristics according to psychology"

How does confinement influence risk groups?

People with previous psychiatric pathologies are a significant risk groupSince it is known the longer the time spent in quarantine or confinement, the greater the probability that the pathology will worsen. Psychological distress is common both during and after the period of confinement. In people who already suffer from anxiety, the feeling of helplessness and lack of control induced by forced confinement only exacerbates the mental pathology.

Working in the healthcare sector and having financial problems They are also factors that predispose to worse mental health in an extraordinary context like the one we live in. “People diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and those with specific hygiene and cleanliness phobias are especially vulnerable in this type of situation, and more and more people are requesting help to face the anguish due to isolation ”, say from Psonríe, one of the the largest Spanish-speaking online psychology apps that have seen the demands for psychological help have increased by 200% in the last two weeks.

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Stressors or factors that worsen mental health

Various investigations have shown that there are certain factors associated with poorer mental health in a quarantine and confinement context due to epidemic, and that may be responsible for certain mental pathologies worsening.

1. Duration of quarantine

Studies indicate that a longer duration of quarantine is related to the worsening of the quarantine mental health, specifically post-traumatic stress symptoms, avoidance behaviors, and crisis go to.

2. Fear of infection

People in quarantine tend to report fears about their own health or of infecting others. The most affected people tend to have obsessive thoughts and they worry about whether they experience any physical symptoms potentially related to the infection. This occurs more in pregnant women and people with children.

  • You may be interested: "Hypochondria: causes, symptoms and possible treatments"

3. Frustration and boredom

Confinement, loss of habitual routines and reduction of social and physical contact creates boredom, frustration, and a sense of isolation. People who have a harder time managing these emotions are harmed the most.

4. Inadequate information

Consume hoaxes or biased information is a stressor and causes confusion. The lack of clarity about the level of risk leads people to fear the worst and is a significant predictor of post-traumatic stress symptoms.

People with severe mental disorders: the great forgotten of this crisis

If there is a group that is especially vulnerable to this exceptional situation of confinement and about which very little is said, it is people with severe mental disorders and chronic conditions, who have seen how the health resources that covered them in their day to day have been reduced to a minimum.

Individuals with schizophrenia, psychosis, personality disorders and other psychiatric pathologies are today the great forgotten of this pandemic.

Although it may be thought that people with schizophrenia and other psychoses usually spend time at home and confinement can be made more bearable, this is not the case, and now there are data that confirm that there is an aggravation of pathologies due to lack of follow-up, reduction in adherence to treatment, re-emergence of the disease, etc. Definitely, a significant deterioration in the quality of life of all these people.

And after that? The post-coronavirus landscape

The evidence that we have of previous epidemic processes leads us to think that this crisis is not going to be different and it is also going to have a significant psychological impact in the population.

The increase in anxiety problems, stress, depressive disorders and the worsening of previous psychiatric diseases will be part of the post-coronavirus health panorama.


To reduce the psychological impact and address the mental health problems that have been generated by confinement, the demand is increasing. of online psychology services that, like Psonríe, allow you to speak with a psychologist instantly, 24 hours a day and completely anonymous.

These online psychological help sessions They are essential for all people who have seen their mental health suffer due to confinement and want to regain vitality and well-being in their day-to-day lives.

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