As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates and people try to adjust to the 21-day lockdown implemented across South Africa, the isolation and uncertainty around this crisis increases psychological distress.
These are trying times for everyone. For those individuals with existing mental health challenges, emotional and psychological manifestations can be more powerful and intense during the lockdown. The pressures of coping with separation, fear for the unknown, financial worries and uncertainty, affects those without pre-existing conditions even more.
Some of the mental health challenges which seems to become more apparent are:
- excessive worrying
- changes in appetite or irritable bowel symptoms
- lack of concentration
- eating disorders
Also, Executive functioning, which is our ability to plan, organise, start working and continue working on a project or even a chore, memory and emotional regulation are affected.
In uncertain times like this, our fight or flight patterns become more prevalent. We react and are triggered more easily and we do not understand these automatic responses. You ask yourself “Why did I behave this way?”, “I couldn’t help myself”, “Where did that annoying behaviour come from?” “Why did I have a panic attack?” “Why do I feel tense all the time?”
To support you to overcome these behaviours and thought patterns, I use BWRT® which is based on the latest research in neuroscience. BWRT® provides the opportunity to negate destructive thought and behaviour patterns and is designed to remove emotive responses and create new, adaptive neural pathways that do not have the old undesirable emotional responses. BWRT deals with the current state of mind and can offer effective results in a very short space of time. I also incorporate Action Commitment Therapy (ACT) and psychological and executive functioning coaching to support you with your day to day functioning in lockdown.
I was initially reluctant about using online/virtual therapy, but since the lockdown, I’ve only been using online therapy, and have been pleasantly surprised by how effective it is! At first one needs to make emotional and practical adjustments, but as soon as this is in place and the session starts, it feels authentic and more focused than in real-time in my practice.
Lets “push through the pain” together!