the more time passes, the more difficult men to withstand isolation, coupled with stress because of the threat to pick up a coronavirus. About this phenomenon as psychic epidemic and about what dangers threaten the human psyche, “MK” told the doctor of medical Sciences, head of the Department of psychiatry and medical psychology, Russian national research medical University them. N. And. Pirogov Andrey Shmilovich.

– In different centuries have observed such phenomena as a mental epidemic. In the 13th century in Europe was an “epidemic of self-flagellation,” in the 14th century epidemic of “St. Vitus’s dance”; in some countries there had been an epidemic of religious ecstasy, and in the 20-21 century epidemic of suicides. Now in the trend of mental epidemics of a different nature, they are associated with the development of information technologies. Coined the term “infogami”. There is some external threat in the form of, say, a dangerous microorganism, and it is becoming a global infopovod which spreads instantly. This information goes into our untrained brain, causing a reaction – the animal fear of death. It runs a lot of processes are not only psychological but also biological leads to severe mental disorders that occur in extreme situations, during disasters, natural disasters, and wars.

People with some mental warehouse more prone to mass psychosis?

Is personality traits affective lability (mood swings), anxiety, paranoidalnami and suggestibility. The emotional state of a character becomes a reason in response to changes in the external environment first, there are emotions, and then turns on common sense. In anxious, insecure personalities present constant anxiety, and even if not, they will still find it. Paranoid is a suspicious person, they see all trick, any information concerning external threats are perceived with suspicion. Their mind is ready to accept conspiracy theories etc. Well, inspires people – those who are infected with the turbulent emotions of others.

What mental disorder has worsened now in the period of a pandemic?

– Between mental normality and pathology there is a large group of borderline mental disorders, when a person stands with one foot in the disease, and the other in a conventional norm. In the period of today’s epidemic worsen such disorders as mysophobia – obsessive fear of contamination with violent repeated hand washing; agoraphobia – a different kind of obsessive fears, not allowing people to use transport, airplanes, subway, cars. Panic attacks – attacks of sudden fear accompanied by rapid vegetative reactions of the organism. And finally, the hypochondria is a disorder, ��when a person is convinced that he has something incurable and hitherto unexplored disease.

– Who harder going through withdrawal?

– the Number of people exposed to this serious strain on the psyche, more than it may seem. If a man speaks in a confident voice, struggling demonstrates how he does not care about what is happening, believe me, with highest probability we are talking about compensatory behavior. That is, this man suffers internally even more than the one who is crying or tearing their hair.

– And there are those to whom all this is easier?

– the Only category of people for whom the mode of isolation of the least traumatic, people with autistic temperament. They are introverts who are loners or misanthropes. To be in isolation for them, comfortable and familiar. Here it is important to note that autism is not necessarily a symptom or a disease. This can be a trait of a healthy person who used to avoid the noisy companies, which is nicer to sit alone at home, which is easier and better to work remotely. But such people are a minority. The greater part has within itself the natural instinct of social functioning. We genotype – tribal creatures. And the living social processes cannot be fully reproduced in the virtual space. No matter how much we have progressed telecommunications, most of us are unable to dwell in the psychic norm without direct social contacts.

– That is, isolation is an abnormal state for man?

– It’s like that to deprive a person of realization of some instinctive craving. We have, for example, the food instinct. The mental state of a person who is not getting food will eventually deteriorate, it will not. It will degrade to the level of their mammalian ancestors who killed each other in order to get your piece. Same story with social functioning. People start going nuts. Among other things, in our body in moments like infogami begin to accumulate such substances, such as norepinephrine, which cause irritation and aggression.

– What else threatens mass psychosis in the current epidemic?

– we Must understand that mental health largely determines the level of activity of protective body functions. And immunity, and all the rest. The harder neurosis, the harder complications from infectious diseases and more severe course of the disease. One of the most common stress psychosomatic disorders is hyperventilation syndrome, which manifests itself in periods of rapid breathing. And shortness of breath just often need virus and many other infectious agents in order to get oswoto be in the human body.

How to keep a healthy mental state?

– To self-to get out of this “crazy dream”, it is necessary to eliminate the negative social factors and introduce into your life infodata, to limit communication with the alarmists regularly switch to activities and Hobbies that bring pleasure to commit themselves to helping someone, volunteering also helps to switch to.

How to change the whole psyche of the people after the pandemic?

– Now we are talking about the psychiatric pathology that is not immediately. Even when the person is finally freed from exposure to serious traumatic factors – the threat of death, debilitating shumoizolyatsionnogo regime – still remain depressed tails. I expect that the number of depressions. The incidence may increase dramatically after the pandemic, but the number of visits to psychiatrists can fall sharply due to the economic consequences. And, therefore, will be more people with untreated depression that will immediately affect suicidality. On a relatively optimistic sets me only our hardened heavy disasters of the 90s. It definitely made us less vulnerable in extreme conditions, we were able to form a kind of psychic immunity, which in turn significantly increases the stability of the psyche to the reactive psychosis and the body’s resistance to the virus.

help “MK”. Mental epidemics over centuries.

8th century. Europe – demonic obsession, the possession of people by demons. Those who looked at the process of expulsion of demons, they were possessed. Started insanity with a small circle of people, for example, inside the Church, then crossed the whole city.

14th century. the Epidemic of “St. Vitus Dance” or “dancing plague”. People could not stop dancing, laughing. The rate of movement all the time accelerated. In the ecstasy of madmen could do a group sex Orgy directly on the squares of the city.

19th century. the Epidemic of religious ecstasy in the Nordic countries. The irresistible pull of preaching and mass hallucinations and prophetic content. People have seen the convergence of Christ, contact with him. The same psychic epidemic was observed in totalitarian States, for example, in the Third Reich.

1962. In Tanzania – amazing mental epidemic of laughter, during which a huge number of people a day could not refrain from laughter. People were laughing all the way to lethal outcomes. Life was completely paralyzed. Still this extraordinary epidemic describe in all textbooks on psychiatry.

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Jennifer Alvarez is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.