“Cottage fever”, addictions that confinement will leave

By Dra. Margarita Mendoza-Burgos, psychiatrist and psychologist

“That the remedy is not worse than the disease ”. That phrase, so repeated these days, used by those who argue that the confinement and closure of the economy may have worse consequences than the pandemic itself.

"If the virus doesn't kill us, hunger will kill us ”, claim, urging that commercial and industrial life return to its course as soon as possible.

It is probably an exaggeration and that the economic paralysis caused by the Covid-19 does not starve us.

What is more feasible is that this remedy, which is mandatory quarantine, leaves us with serious psychological disorders.

In addition to exacerbating many behavior and eating problems, to give some examples, could also have created addictions in people, as a way of “escape” or distract ourselves in confinement.

Gambling is one of them, although before the closing of casinos only the option of betting and online games remained.

It is not a secret that the sale of alcoholic beverages soared in several countries. In Mexico, consumption increased a 63%, mainly beer. In Russia, Vodka sales at the largest retail chains increased by 31% while whiskey and beer climbed a 47% and a 25%.

Spain has similar numbers. Those who were dependent on narcotics have surely suffered withdrawal due to the shortage of many drugs on the market., like heroin. Some, even, have made the forced transition to methadone.

After two months of confinement, one of the most common disorders is the so-called "cabin syndrome". It began to be used at the beginning of the 20th century, in United States, in those areas where due to long winters, its inhabitants were forced to go a long period without leaving their home.

While it really is not an accepted psychological term, illustrates the fear of going outside after a major confinement of 50 days. You will feel fear, distrust, especially while the fear of being infected with coronavirus is still latent.

The more pleasant the quarantine has been, the harder it will be to get back out on the street without fear or prejudice.

Something that influences a lot is the attitude of each one, and depending on how we have organized, confinement can leave us very beneficial habits. From now on we can be more hygienic, more economical, more followers of routines and more academically prepared, in addition to having improved our family relationships. But also, in case of facing it in a negative way, will be reflected in the weight gain, chaos in routines, physical abandonment, lack of desire to look good, bad family relationships, new hobbies and obsessions.

The Covid-19 can change us. Such a large room between four walls will bring out everything that time outside the home mitigated and new disorders can appear.

If we can “survive” the quarantine, we will probably become more practical and solve more things from home, one of the great teachings that the pandemic left us. further, we will be better organized. If we are parents of young children, they will have returned to school and that alone will be a great respite to work better.

In the end, the pandemic can make us stronger or more vulnerable, depending on how each being lives this atypical experience. If we feel that you have left us in a low state, we must find a therapist to help us. We will hardly forget, not even the smallest.

It has been lived - and we still are- in a condition of imminent danger and that sticks in the memory unless they suffer from a kind of "Belle indifference", which is also harmful. Normally some prevention will remain and with it we must live the rest of our days.