George Petrovich, is there an increase in mental illness during a pandemic and the isolation?
George Kostiuk: Yes, this is the first time… And we have yet to learn what the psychological impact is fraught with this phenomenon. The information that we have now, indicate a worsening of problems that already exist in the human family. For example, increasing cases of domestic violence.
And if to speak about the impact of the pandemic, we are not yet able to say exactly what they will be for pandemic coronavirus, but can remember the story. We have experienced a pandemic of swine, avian flu, SARS, which was quite recently, 10-20 years ago. Russia, these pandemics have not touched as much as some other countries. Nevertheless, we can read the results of studies conducted in countries where the pandemic was. Now often think of the epidemic of Spanish flu that occurred exactly 100 years ago.
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There are scientific publications in which the analysis of the impact of a pandemic on mental health. Studies examine three aspects: the immediate psychological reactions during a pandemic, mental disorders in cases of viral infection and delayed effects on the nervous system and psyche.
If we talk about the first aspect, the psychological reaction, it is possible to cite as an example the research conducted during the epidemic of swine flu among people in the UK. The survey showed that approximately 40 percent of people have significantly changed the way of life. Formally they comply with all recommendations of experts: rarely left the house, frequently washing hands, disinfecting surfaces. However, they experienced high levels of anxiety. And some of them ordinary prostude symptoms are seen as manifestations of swine flu.
If we talk about the more serious mental disorders, it is possible to remember the American psychiatrist Karl Menninger, who made an interesting observation during the epidemic of Spanish flu a century ago.
George Kostiuk: Yes. In the clinic where he worked, began to receive a large number of patients with the flu, which was accompanied by psychotic symptoms. The psychotic symptoms disappeared once the patients recovered from the flu.
From the point of view of long-term effects examines the impact of viral infections on the occurrence of severe mental disorders. Such as schizophrenia, dementia, mental retardation. It has been observed that children who were born in the winter months, i.e., months bursts of seasonal diseases, often suffer from schizophrenia. There are also risks during pregnancy: if the woman moved during pregnancy viral disease, then the unborn baby increases the risk of disorders of the nervous system.
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the elderly on the background of viral infection may increase the risk of delirium, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. While it’s impossible to predict what a particular person together with viral infection can occur some changes in the psyche. However, the virus can be trigger not only mental diseases, but also somatic. We should not forget about the vulnerability of every individual and genetic predisposition to the development of the changes in the psyche.
Today we know that the impact of the virus on the nervous system and the psyche whoit is possible, but direct correlations we find. Most likely, as with any complex phenomena, there is a combination of factors: genetic predisposition, weakness of the body and the influence of external circumstances.
Isolation is fraught with remote consequences?
George Kostiuk: While we can’t give a clear answer to the question on whether self-isolation have long-term implications for each of us. Of course, it all depends on the conditions and circumstances in which isolated people. One story if it is a conscious choice of the person who has a steady income, good housing, safe family relationship. If none of his relatives was not affected by virus, if you have interests that allow you to not be bored during isolation. Another story, if at least some life circumstances this list is not so prosperous. But even in this case much will depend on the original mental peculiarities of man’s adaptability. It is known that even under the most terrible circumstances, during disasters, wars, not all people begin to suffer from mental disorders.
How to move the insulation to people living in cramped conditions? People with children who find it difficult to explain that it was impossible to go outside?
George Kostiuk: Indeed, for many it can be a problem. But we cannot say that this problem is entirely new, rather it be aggravated. In the case of children, everything initially depends on how early the parents lined up with their relationship. If the relationship is understanding, loving, if the parents spend time with children, it is unlikely that the joint insulation be torment. Children as easily turn unusual circumstances in the game. They have developed imagination, therefore, can and should use these properties in the child’s mind to overcome the stress of isolation. More to play, to communicate, to learn something new. Work together to make chargingfrom. We need to allow children to sometimes go crazy, to vent his energy. Communication with parents most often the basic children’s needs. Much greater than the need for walks. If it provide, it is unlikely that the child will miss the street.
As a rule, in conditions of isolation exacerbated the problems that already exist in the human family
is the our mental health services to assist in the current conditions?
George Kostiuk: Medical institutions are now urgently redesigned to combat coronavirus. And psychiatric hospitals will be prepared to present your resources in case of need.
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At the moment, the work of the psychiatric service aimed at providing maximum possible psychological and psychotherapeutic support. On the basis of the Moscow psychiatric hospital named after Alekseev, name Gannushkina working telephone service for psychological aid to the population of Moscow. Alekseeva in the hospital in a specially equipped room in compliance with all prescribed measures to prevent the spread of the new virus, organized video calling patients with their relatives. And so, despite the quarantine, people can meet and talk with each other. Format video pass and the conversation of the relatives of the patients with attending physicians.
Hospitals are working normally and assists patients, working teams and help at home. The service is ready to respond flexibly to the needs of the population.
Mental illness is not contagious. They are not infection. But in General they are much more dangerous. Or…?
George Kostiuk: Mental illness is most often associated quality of life and how one operates in society, rather than an immediate threat to life. But the indirect consequences can be very serious: with these disorders the person may lose the opportunity to work, to live independently, to enjoy life. Yes, there are those diseases that are associated with matters of life and death, suicidal behaviour, eating disorders, psychomotor agitation, and others. Mental disorders are a major burden to society. They lead to indirect long-term consequences. And characteristics of these effects differ from infectious diseases. It is no coincidence that the who considers the implications of infectious and noninfectious diseases separately. If to allocate the proportion of mental diseases among non-communicable diseases, they consistently appear in the top ten.
In General, people with mental disorders represent a much smaller threat to society than people without obvious signs of such disorders.
we Need to allow children to sometimes go crazy, to vent his energy. Communication with parents most often the basic children’s need
Perhaps the question does not seem relevant, but I will ask: the positive side of the current situation there?
George Kostiuk: Most of us now focused on the dangers of the situation with coronavirus and General negativity. But there are positive moments. We can feel the importance of human life, the reality of mutual assistance and support, we will be able to revise the system of their values.
For the medical profession good side of this situation is that now instead of the usual theoretical conversations about the importance of the medical sphere there is real advancement of medicine and science to the fore. Health workers are perceived as heroes, they pluck each day the applause in many countries. Hardly ever before had they received such applause! And those who now receives medical care, you can be sure that Metabopendulum ready to leave the house to do his work.
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For the culture of a unique moment in the museums, theatres, cinemas, bookstores open free virtual access to their treasures. Universities open access to their educational resources. Could we think of eminent specialists will conduct virtual lessons for school children?
their way of life with the constant hustle and bustle, excess consumption, entertainment now for many impossible. And what remains if it is removed from our lives? And it is great for us this loss? What is happening now, for many an existential crisis, but that crisis periods give people a chance to rethink something and to change something in your life.