If I could largely summarize the work I do as a psychologist and psychoanalyst, it has to do with being able to think with people about the different scenarios of life, in which they have faced and triggered experiences that are painful to develop. As people, we continually face various scenarios where our ability to process our experiences is interfered with by the interpretation we give to reality according to our history. A reality that we interpret, but which is also interfered with by cultural, social and temporal contexts. Today, the pandemic, the economic crisis, the suffering, the pain, the duels, are experiences that we are still processing according to our quarantined possibilities and that will inevitably have a place in our history.
Without a doubt, we are exposed to different feelings of unrest depending on the place we occupy in confinement, in the economic-social crisis and health. We are in what the Franco-Argentine psychoanalyst Janine Puget (2015), names as overlapping worlds, alluding to a meeting of psychic experiences in the same place, territory and time (in this prolonged case), all and everyone at home with fear, anguish and stress.
In this sense, the pandemic has exposed that our apparent omnipotence in the face of «normal reality» was obscured by the fragility we possess, especially in the face of catastrophic situations, social and economic crises.
We had forgotten (or had to forget) our emotions, our anxieties, our mental health, for various reasons: the time required for psychotherapy, the money it can cost and the difficult access that the health system itself has as a public or private system. In this sense, it is no less than that much of the Chilean population goes to a psychologist (or) only in order to alleviate an discomfort when it is at risk or in full overflow.
On 23 June, the survey carried out by the social table in its fifth report of Movid-19, led to an increase in the sense of uncertainty in the working population. Mostly, it’s women (55.8%) those who have symptomatology that results in a worsening in their mental health, above men (42.8%). Feeling depressed, underneated, anxious, stressful about home care, fear of job loss, and increased gender-based violence are symptoms that reflect the burden that women are quarantined.
The interpretations that can be derived from the survey are almost obvious, much of the Chilean population is affected at the mental health level in this period of confinement. Where uncertainty, fear, violence and anguish from the workplace have a strong impact on Chilean families and especially women (and health workers). Which must be seen in the obligation often to sustain your mood (not being depressed), as you must «continue to fight adversity and role-setting at the family and social level», which wear down, stress and generate a psychological discomfort that is serious during this period.
On the other hand, even if we begin the period of confinement soon, the emotional sequelae will be multiple and will only be seen in time. Above all, because these kinds of experiences always lead us to keep or silence painful or distressing experiences because we have to move forward for reasons that are financial, to support the family, couple and children, among many others.
However, what has been demonstrating these kinds of traumatic experiences as the pandemic is that the help of human groups and the need to bear witness to our experiences are those that help us feel supported. Therefore, the possibility of entrusting someone with this experience is of paramount importance, not only because of the feeling of a support or emotional support, but because it is a possibility of meaning the impact that the pandemic has had on us.
In this way, the great challenge of deconfunding on an emotional level and caring for our minds, will be to assimilate little by little (and according to our rhythms as older adults, women, men, girls and children), that we will not return to a reality like the one we had before and that will probably take much longer than we would like to be able to embrace without awakening fear or anguish to infect the other or be infected.
All in all, if bien there is a great job that must be done in ensuring access to «mental health» in a sustained way in the population, the great work of us is to recognize what we need to be able to «sustain a future» on an emotional level, which can often be favored with the help of psychotherapy. That is, authorizing us to get sick and «not give more», after an experience like this, a symptom of well-being, can be to understand how quarantine time has affected us emotionally.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.