The coronavirus epidemic is rapidly sweeping across the world, human beings are curtailed with fear, worry, and concern. Lock-down periods are being extended. The mental health toll is increasing and how are we responding to all this as people? When human beings are faced with a situation or challenge that they can’t control, the psychological effects can be more devastating than the actual physical effect.
5 Stages of the human response to undesirable circumstances
Stage 1: Denial
Just like when faced with any uncomfortable situation the human’s first line of defense is denial. This is the point when the reality is so harsh that we don’t want to accept it. For some reason, we wish to wake up and realize it was all part of a nightmare. So we develop the ostrich mentality of burying our heads in the sand but unfortunately, this does not make the situation go away.
Stage 2: The blame game
Unfortunately, denial does not make the situation go away. After realizing the severity and devastating effects of the situation, we try to pacify ourselves by playing the blame game. We do this in our desperate need to feel better by finding someone or something to blame.
Stage 3: The development of myths
The blame game only increases the severity of the situation on us. In the case of the coronavirus, this means more deaths as the virus spreads uncontrollably. We then begin to try and understand what is going on through the development of myths. In our current situation, this will be myths about the virus; how it came about, and how it can be mitigated. We do this to a sense of control over the situation, even though the sense of control will be false.
Stage 4: The wakeup call
Unfortunately, myths cannot solve our problems. Because instead of finding solutions we waste more time on urban legends. The sooner we snap out of this stage and get the wake-up call to action, the lesser the situation has a dire effect on us. In this stage, we begin to search for the proper and true meaning of our situation. By not educating ourselves, we give power to any situation that comes upon us. The more knowledgeable we are, the more positioned we are to claim our power and fight whatever comes our way.
Stage 5: A call to action
After the wake-up call, we need to find solutions. The earlier we take action and prepare ourselves the less devastating it becomes. Precious lives are being wiped away every day, even those of the health workers who are trying to save others. Anxiety and stress levels are rising. How best can we prepare ourselves for this? How we view the situation will determine how we get through it.
There is nothing as difficult as living in fear of losing one’s life or that of a loved one.
Psyche and Beyond is here to help you deal with this psychological burden. Online counseling is available for you. We are in this together.
If you need to speak to a professional counsellor, don’t forget to get in touch with Psyche and Beyond.
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