Lockdown could increase stress levels due to lack of coping mechanisms, expert reveals

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Lockdown could increase stress levels due to lack of coping mechanisms, expert reveals 1

Many families are now spending their entire day together due to the closure of schools and nurseries, forcing many parents to balance work with childcare. Dr Justin Williams, a practising clinical psychiatrist at the University of Aberdeen, and vice-chairman of the child and adolescent mental health services faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said lockdown restrictions are preventing family members from spending time away from home or see people outside the family.

He said: “People have their jobs and are trying to deal with their work demands and are being asked to work at home, and you have to deal with the children as well so you are juggling that and stresses in the family will increase with the amount of time you are spending together.

“In the lockdown period you have a lot of sources of anxiety caused by the lockdown, whether because they are imposed rules, imposed financial constraints, we are seeing raised levels of domestic abuse.

“There are many different sources of stress within the family home.”

He added: “There are a whole range of sorts of conflict arising and the normal way of managing that is to take some time out.

“Some children might go and stay with a relative if things are difficult at home but you can’t do that at the moment.

“So many of our normal coping mechanisms are being undermined at this period of time leaving little room for manoeuvre.”

Dr Williams acknowledged that, although some are still going out to work and can get time away from the family, they may deal with other concerns.

In the case of healthcare workers, they worry that they could infect other family members.

READ MORE: Express readers say THIS should reopen first if lockdown lifted


“That’s going to be different for every family. People can look for areas where they can do things together.

“I think that’s going to reduce the stress, that will be an important way to manage.”

He advised that parents make some time for themselves when possible.

He added that using social media may help people interact with others who are not in the household.

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