Tag Archive for 'pandemia'

Psychopandemic: which are the solutions

Beyond the widespread evidence, there are now numerous surveys that show us the data of the so-called psychopandemic, with a generalized increase of mental problems in the population of all ages. Here are the main points of the issue taken from David Lazzari, President of the Italian Register of Psychologists.

  • WHO already before the pandemic had highlighted that 17 million Italians suffered from psychological disorders, more than one in four Italians and in half of the cases these problems arise around the age of 14 years (Kastel 2019).
  • The highest incidence is in at-risk groups such as people returning from intensive care, those affected by Covid, the physically ill who could not be treated for fear of contagion or limitations in access, people who have lost a relative in special situations, “caregivers” who assist patents or people with diseases or disabilities, people with greater or previous psychological fragility, health workers in burnout.
  • Independent surveys carried out in various countries have converged in saying that one person in three today would need psychological listening and support, also to avoid the development of more serious and costly disorders.
  • In a recent survey conducted by the Study Center of the Italian Register of Psychologists, 47% of parents with children 3-14 years old report emotional problems, and 62% of children report negative psychological states.
  • Among adolescents, 6 out of 10 say they feel stressed and one out of three would like psychological support (Unicef 20.11.20).
  • 7 out of 10 people in these cases prefer psychological help to medication (McHugh 2013). There is evidence of greater and longer effectiveness of psychotherapy for most of these situations (Huhn et al. 2014, Cuijpers et al. 2014, Lazzari 2020).
  • Psychological interventions have a restructuring action because they promote people’s resources and prevent from relapse. We are talking about important differences that are appreciated especially in the medium and long term (Harryotaki et al. 2014, Zhang et al. 2018).
  • A fact confirmed by economic cost-benefit analyses, which tell us that 5 years after treatment, psychotherapy saves 1481 euros per person in health and 2058 euros to society compared to drugs, proving to be economically more advantageous in 75% of cases (Rossi et al. 2019).
  • All this without counting the possible side effects of widespread drug abuse.
  • Unfortunately, the problem is structural: it is the system that feeds this situation, because while drugs are reimbursed by the SSN or free (some categories) and easily available, psychological treatments are not only not reimbursable but are rare commodities in the public. With a psychologist and psychotherapist for every 12,000 inhabitants in the Italian NHS, access to these therapies in the public is for very few and in the private sector there are now fewer who can afford treatment.
  • Psychology and psychotherapy are still designed for those who can pay for them.

New ebook: the pandemic in sport

The year 2020 is gone and it will be remembered as the worst year of the last 75 years, for having involved the entire world in a crisis, initially a health crisis, which became a planetary pandemic that has disrupted the lives of every person, causing millions of victims, destroying a significant part of the world economy and radically changing the way we work and interact with others. I am a psychologist and I deal with sport and the well-being of those who practice it, whether they are champions and professionals or individuals who carry out this activity as a lifestyle. The pandemic has forced us to stay home, physical distancing and eliminate sports activity as we knew it. Managing movement and sporting activity has become a source of additional stress that has produced negative psychological effects on people who even engage in recreational activity, among athletes who play sports professionally, and people with disabilities who benefit so obviously from engaging in sports on an ongoing basis.

Starting from these considerations, I began to talk about this situation on my blog, in order to better understand the effects of the pandemic on people and to provide guidance on how to practice sports, respecting the rules to cope with and reduce the possibility of contagion. The book represents a journey that started at the beginning of March, which has led me to talk about this issue until now that we are approaching the beginning of the new year. It talks about the mindset of those who don’t follow the rules, how one can deal with the anxiety brought about by this radical change in daily life, how one can train while staying at home and the reasons why it is good to be active and not suffer this situation. In addition, guidance is given to coaches on how not to give up their leadership role and to athletes on how to train in the absence of competition. Finally, I present practical tips and ways to think about and experience this unique and totally unexpected time.

Shooting: pandemic psychological aspects

The psychological aspects of a nightmare year. Online in the Italian magazine of the shooting federation. 

Aware of our preconceived thoughts, delete them

Every day we try to explain our performances and what is happening around us. This trend is particularly perceived when we have to explain unexpected events to ourselves.

The pandemic we are experiencing this year is an event that falls in this last situation. One wonders how it was possible for this virus to spread. Who could have ever imagined that we were living in this situation as it was like the cholera and plague epidemics of the past centuries, and that science and our health care systems were completely unprepared.

In these times, we too often fall into providing explanations based on our own prejudices. We told ourselves that it was the fault of the Chinese and that the virus had been built in the laboratory or that it was the fault of the migrants who spread it because they are dirty. Others have chosen different explanations, the deniers have chosen the defense mechanism that is called denial. Still others thought that the virus was a justification for governments to control people’s lives, so they also rebelled against the rules of their governments, so they did not put on the mask and did not wash their hands.

How to change? How to accept reality? It would take a period of re-attributive training to learn how to shift the origin of our explanations from a superficial, selfish and prejudiced interpretation to one based on reality analysis, on data and not on subjective impression.

We would need this approach to regain control of our emotions, bringing our attention to those favoring the acquisition of self-control and not based on fear but on the responsibility that everyone has towards everyone.

Motivation and training during coronavirus pandemic

Today online seminar at the University on current topics on the psychological aspects of training in the corona virus period.