The period of isolation caused by Covid-19 lasted almost two years and affected practically the entire world population. The consequences can be seen in several areas of life and are also reported by those who did not get sick in the period. Mental health has been particularly affected by the pandemic.
According to a scientific summary released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, the number of people with anxiety and depression increased by 25%. In this context, the term “coronophobia” emerged, classified as an extreme fear of contracting the infection.
People with the condition experience physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms despite taking all possible precautions to avoid the condition.
“The pandemic has affected the mental health of a large part of the population. The difficult financial situation, the accumulation of debts, the fear of catching Covid and the death of close people generated sadness, insomnia, irritation, anguish and anxiety attacks in people “, explains psychologist Vanessa Gebrim, specialist in clinical psychology at the Pontifical University Catholic of Sao Paulo.
Coronophobia can bring harm to family, social or professional life, so a psychologist should be sought when symptoms begin to appear. If there are physical signs of fear and anxiety, such as palpitations or shortness of breath, it is necessary to seek help as soon as possible.
Know the signs of coronophobia:
1. Fear of leaving home
With isolation, each one’s home became a source of security. This habit, intensified by the fear of contracting Covid, may have continued even after restrictions were relaxed.
“Even with the flexibilities, many people end up not being able to leave the house yet. Fear is an irrational feeling and is part of life. A clue that the person has passed the healthy limit is when this fear causes functional disorders, affecting relationships with friends, family and work”, explains Vanessa.
2. Stress exacerbated
Due to the fear of contaminating yourself, contact with other people can end up generating stress. In addition, the person may become nervous about small things that used to not matter.
3. Poor sleep, shortness of breath and palpitations
Worry, fear and stress can start to be felt in the body. According to the expert, there are some physical symptoms that are common to coronophobia. Among them are:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Sleep damage.
4. Social Phobia
In many cases, all the feeling of fear and insecurity can end up turning into a social phobia. “One of the main symptoms of coronophobia is the person being very nervous when leaving the house and this ends up causing problems with sleep and appetite, in addition to anxiety attacks”, he adds.
In addition, when the person leaves the house, they are worried all the time, even taking care not to contaminate themselves. This reaction can be an indication that something is not right.
5. Excessive fear of getting sick
Feeling a recurring fear of being sick is one of the main signs left by the pandemic. Some people were terrified of touching surfaces for fear of catching a virus, in addition to starting to look for doctors frequently.
“Many no longer go to crowded places and also don’t touch things that other people have touched, before the necessary cleaning. It turns out that, in the emotional scope of this issue, many people have felt sad, guilty or afraid beyond the account of being contaminated, for themselves and for their family members”, says the psychologist.
Here are the most common symptoms of Covid:
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