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In such uncertain times as a collective we have experienced a change to our sense of normality. Covid brought experiences of loss; be it a loved one, a relationship, a job or any other change which has left an impact on the individual. Amongst other symptoms, loss can leave an individual feeling symptoms of depression which include experiencing a sense of emptiness and sad feelings for a prolonged amount of time. This is not to state that feeling sad after a loss is an abnormal reaction, however it depends how one interprets the loss which could help the individual to bounce back from the loss.

There is a relationship between our feelings and the ways in which we perceive a situation. Cognitive behavioral scientists claim that our emotions stem from the ways in which we interpret specific situations. Certain thoughts which stem from certain interpretations can be clustered into specific themes of our life which need to be re-negotiated from time to time. This is worth pursuing as these thoughts may end up not being an accurate interpretation of the situation at hand.

Therapeutic work can be done with the individual regarding these negative feelings, however one may sometimes find themselves stuck despite trying out different therapeutic methods. It may be beneficial to consider the chemical imbalances which may be present and consult a specialist such as a psychiatrist. This is recommended in order to rule out chemical imbalances or consider treatment for the chemical imbalances.

I can’t stress this enough and I understand that it’s hard, but it’s also imperative to maintain contact with at least another individual in order to retain some social support from the individual or community. Support can be given by family members, support groups, peer, mental health professionals, or spiritual leaders amongst others. Support should be given by a person who the individual who is experiencing difficult emotions deems to be trustworthy and safe.

The levels of support which can be provided from the aforementioned sources varies in quality and efficiency, depending on the choice of the support structure chosen by the individual. If social distancing measures are in place, try to find other ways to connect with peers, family or professionals. If any of the individuals don’t feel comfortable meeting face to face. With the use of modern online platforms, we can easily start a conversation with loved ones or friends.

Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on karl@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.

References:
Bueno-Notivol, J., Gracia-García, P., Olaya, B., Lasheras, I., López-Antón, R., & Santabárbara, J. (2020). Prevalence of depression during the COVID-19 outbreak: A meta-analysis of community-based studies. International journal of clinical and health psychology : IJCHP, 100196. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2020.07.007