Are psychiatrists mentally healthy

Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy

07.10.2020

Corona crisis and mental health: Use prevention and help offers and discover your own strengths

The corona pandemic is a complex stressful situation that hardly leaves a single person without a trace. Mentally ill people but also healthy people are stressed because the crisis situation affects almost everyone to different degrees.

The corona pandemic is a complex stressful situation that hardly leaves a single person without a trace. Uncertainty, fears about one's own health and the health of other people, existential fears about the future and a challenging uncertainty about the further development of the crisis represent great stresses. Everyday life has also changed significantly and people have to with reduced social contacts and often little physical closeness up to cope with social isolation. “We must not underestimate how great the risk to our mental health is in such a crisis situation, because we have practically no previous experience that we can use to cope with such a complex stressful situation. In addition, the pandemic brings with it some typical aspects that people find difficult to deal with, such as a threat that we cannot directly perceive and influence. This often leads to a feeling of loss of control, ”explains Prof. Arno Deister from the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology (DGPPN) in Berlin. The situation is particularly challenging for those who suffer from mental illness and whose problems with the crisis intensify or recur. Mentally ill people but also healthy people are stressed because the crisis situation affects almost everyone to different degrees. “At the same time, however, we must not overlook how capable we are of learning and what possibilities we have to get through crises better. For example, it has been shown that some of the people with mental illness cope with the crisis more effectively because they have already experienced psychological stress due to the illness, for example through anxiety disorders or depression. These people have acquired personal strategies for promoting their mental health through therapy, which they can now fall back on. "

Mental Health Action Week provides insights into coping with the exceptional situation

With the onset of the Corona crisis, the question suddenly arises for many people, not just for the mentally ill, what they can do to stay healthy - especially with regard to mental health? The positive aspects of the crisis are that, in a relatively short period of time, many offers of help to support mental health have been offered or have received more attention in order to cope with the stresses of the crisis situation. “There are many ways to have a beneficial effect on your own mental health and we can and should take advantage of this opportunity right now. Learning the various possibilities of prevention and self-help for yourself can also be an extremely enriching experience - especially in times when our freedom of movement and our activity are restricted by external circumstances, ”emphasizes Prof. Deister. This year's Mental Health Action Week is also dedicated to the psychological effects of the pandemic and the possibilities for dealing with the crisis situation under the motto “With strength through the crisis. Stay healthy - also mentally ”. During the action week, practical offers of help are presented for everyone. With a varied program, mental illnesses, their prevention and treatment as well as strategies for coping with the exceptional situation are to be brought into the focus of attention.

Complaints due to the corona crisis can show up in different ways

The corona pandemic has triggered stress on many levels, although the extent of the long-term psychosocial consequences will only become apparent in the coming months. Sickness reports due to psychological diagnoses have increased since the beginning of the Corona crisis. People who have to experience suffering directly caused by Covid-19 are particularly affected. Psychological stress can not only manifest itself in psychological symptoms such as anxiety or depression, but also in the form of physical complaints. “Emotional stress can also manifest itself through physical symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, gastrointestinal complaints, dizziness, headaches and sleep disorders. When complaints arise, it is important to feel inside yourself, how am I doing and what can help me, ”says Prof. Deister. It is useful to learn mindfulness exercises with which you can regularly check in which mental state you are currently. Meditation and relaxation training can help to influence the autonomic nervous system and to establish a more conscious connection to the body, breathing and emotions and to influence them positively.

The professional association DGPPN has created an overview with helpful offers. These include digital supply offers and tips for everyone to help themselves. If the problems do not improve or if you have the feeling that you are actually mentally ill, you should always seek professional medical advice and have a diagnosis made.

Additional Information:

Action week on mental health - information and tips for creative event formats at https://aktionswoche.seelischegesundheit.net

Mental Health Action Week - Calendar of Events: https://aktionswoche.seelischegesundheit.net/bundesweit/veranstaltungen-bundesweit

Overview of assistance offered by the DGPPN: https://www.dgppn.de/schwerpunkte/COVID-19.html