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Less romance, more loneliness as lockdown blues hit home

PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 pandemic and endless stay-at-home orders have intensified loneliness, especially among singles, and reduced intimacy in romantic relationships, according to mental health experts.

Mental health has suffered as months of isolation have allowed negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness to take root, a recent international mental health conference was told. The conference organised by the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) Asia was held over the weekend.

Alison Barber.

Clinical hypnotherapist Alison Barber said that Covid restrictions have altered the lifestyles of singles who were once mentally and physically healthy, and socially active, increasing loneliness and social anxiety.

Alison suggested hypnotherapy as a treatment for singles who are struggling to combat loneliness and anxiety, to help them return to their pre-pandemic state.

Clinical hypnotherapy teaches patients to use deep relaxation to boost mental health and deal with behavioural problems such as drinking, smoking or overeating.

Sexual health has also suffered with the frequent lockdowns, worsening intimacy in romantic relationships, especially among women, said relational psychotherapist Dr Yasmin Headley.

Yasmin Headley.

She said a recent study revealed that while most couples did not perceive any differences in their sexuality, some female participants did report a decrease in pleasure, satisfaction, desire, and arousal.

“The main reasons behind the changes in sexuality in women appear to be worry, lack of privacy, and stress due to Covid,” she said.

Couples have also had to navigate the complexities of sharing close quarters with someone else round the clock, putting a strain on the relationship.

Headley advised couples to “be more present with your partner, increase your movement, form healthy routines and fulfil your sexual needs”.

She said sexual health and mental health are interconnected. This post was featured on Free Malaysia today. Link here Less romance, more loneliness as lockdown blues hit home | Free Malaysia Today (FMT)

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