The coronavirus disease, officially known as COVID-19, didn’t seem to be a big deal when it first broke out in China in November 2019. Although the outbreak was initially downplayed by the Chinese government, the rapid spread of the virus forced the Chinese government to impose stricter measures such as social distancing and self-quarantine.
Although the use of considerable authoritarian powers by the Chinese government to enforce self-quarantine has been widely questioned, the method worked as the curve of Chinese cases began to flatten.
Learning from China’s way of handling the pandemic, many national governments have taken different routes in imposing restrictions with the majority asking people who potentially come in contact with infection to self-quarantine at home.
How self-quarantine affects mental health
When people self-quarantine, they are required to separate from other people and restrict their movements so they don’t spread the contagious disease to other people.
However, studies have shown that people forced to live in quarantine conditions are at a high risk of anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, poor sleep, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. As a result, there’s a high chance that people will find it hard to focus, manage their emotions, remember information, and follow directions.
Although self-quarantine measures are intended to last for only a short period, the impact can be quite significant on the mental health of people. In cases where the quarantine extends for longer periods, the impact is more likely to be worse.
Another reason why quarantine measures affect people so badly is that they are often unable to reach their family, friends, and relatives. And while it is normal to miss loved ones, the isolation creates a feeling of hopelessness as people feel that they have no control over the situation.
A 2019 review in The Lancet of several studies previously conducted narrowed down the mental consequences of quarantine to the following effects:
· Post-traumatic stress symptoms
· Depressive symptoms
· Low mood
· Emotional disturbance
· Emotional exhaustion
The review also added that there is evidence that quarantine measures can have long-term effects that’s typically characterized by substance and alcohol dependency up to three years after quarantine.
According to another study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), quarantine at home can be both beneficial and harmful to the body. In their work, they discovered that feelings of loneliness can strengthen the body’s immune system to increase its inflammatory response.
While loneliness can help improve the body’s immune system, it also serves as a fuel for other grave health conditions like degenerative nerve diseases like Alzheimer’s. It can also trigger an overactive inflammatory response, which is a major problem among some patients of COVID-19.
You can cope by establishing routines, being active physically and mentally, communicating with other people, and consuming 1-2 strips of Femito (フェミート) products which can help boost your mental health while you quarantine at home, effectively mitigating the effects of self-isolating.