PETALING JAYA: The uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic have placed more people under stress because of increased concerns about personal health, medical care, job security, and availability of food and household supplies, says a therapist.
“Anyone can develop covid stress syndrome but those with pre-existing anxiety disorders and mental health problems experience greater risk”, said clinical hypnotherapist Nivedita Ramanujam.
Phobias and fears of contamination have also shaken a person’s resilience and adaptability in a post-Covid world, she said.
An international conference was told that more people are experiencing severe stress and anxiety symptoms because of the pandemic, requiring frequent behavioural readjustments in response to the changing risks and government guidelines.
The International Mental Health Conference organised by the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) Asia last weekend discussed how these aggravated symptoms have led to Covid stress syndrome.
The syndrome is primarily associated with poor mental health and socially disruptive consequences such as panic buying, excessive avoidance, and ineffective coping mechanisms during isolation.
At the conference, Gavin Emerson, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, said that resilience is dynamic and when faced with adversity it breaks down resulting in an inability to cope.
“It is not about mental toughness but rather how we interact with a crisis like Covid stress syndrome,” he said.
“Self-compassion, a hypnotherapeutic tool, has proven to generate positive emotions to address Covid stress syndrome, increasing resilience and adaptability post-covid”, said Gavin at the LCCH Asia conference.
Nivedita also added that hypnotherapy can be coupled with other types of psychotherapy like cognitive behavioural therapy to equip clients with a greater sense of control over their emotional and psychological responses.
Other management strategies include eating healthy, exercising frequently and seeking professional help like therapy.