The 3 signs you're suffering lockdown adjustment disorder – and tips to beat it

PEOPLE across the UK have been in lockdown since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and many are still unable to go back to work.

While businesses up and down the country continue to reopen due to a lifting of restrictions, many people are struggling to adjust to the new normal.

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Adjustment disorder is a psychiatric condition recognised by the American Psychiatric Association and is a severe reaction to stress.

Research by Superdrug has also suggested that many people are struggling with the idea of getting back to normal.

It surveyed 3000 customers and found that 22 per cent have spent so much time in one place that they feel anxious in crowded places.

This is while it also found that 21 per cent feel insecure about being sociable again and 43 per cent are nervous about the restrictions being lifted.

During the pandemic many people have been exposed to mass amounts of stress.

This could be because someone they love has contracted Covid-19 or due to issues affecting their employment and financial status.

Mental health has been a large focus during the pandemic and research has previously revealed that children could also face mental health issues due to the pandemic.

Researchers have also warned that the pandemic has formed a "perfect storm" of misery that may harm people's mental health for years to come.

The Sun has previously launched the You're Not Alone campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and encourage people to seek help. 

Adjustment disorders are an immediate reaction to a traumatic life event and if your behaviour has changed then you may have developed the condition.

But how do you know if you’re suffering from the disorder and how can you beat it?

1. Feeling anxious

If you are having regular feelings of anxiety then you may have lockdown adjustment disorder.

Obsessing over the latest restrictions and rules could be an indication of the disorder.

People suffering also worry about the uncertainty the pandemic could bring and how it will impact them.

Sophrologist Dominique Antiglio from the BeSophro Clinic said the impending change and disruption can exacerbate isolation and lonliness.

"This feeling of ‘not belonging’ or being unable to adapt quickly enough can impact our sense of identity and mental health.

"Social interaction (virtually) and support, managing expectations, and self-care are examples of things that can be implemented to help keep the anxiety in check."

2. Working too hard

Many people have been working from home during the pandemic and if you've developed unhealthy working patterns then this may be a sign of the disorder.

If you're working later than usual or volunteering for more hours then you need to take time to reflect why this is.

Alternatively if you've become lackadaisical then you may also be struggling with the disorder.

Dominique says factors such as the fear of losing work or income or taking on too much have all been prevalent during the pandemic.

"Many people have never worked harder or longer.

"Ringfencing time for yourself, maintaining social interaction (virtually), building mental awareness so you recognise when things become overwhelming, are some things you can do to manage mental health."

3. Struggling around others

If you've been shielding then you will not have been able to meet with others and restrictions on that were lifted on Monday.

But many others have also found they have isolated themselves due to fears of the virus.

If you've stopped seeing your friends or if you have engaged in regular spats with them, it could be a sign that you are struggling.

This is while being negligent of relationships also shows signs of the disorder.

Clinical psychologist Dr Roberta Babb previously stated that if you're having trouble with relationships then you need to be clear with your friends as to why this is.

She said: "If you do get an invitation to see a friend, and you do not want to take it up because of coronavirus, it is helpful to thank your friend for the invitation.

"It is important that you let your friend know that you would like to see them, but you are unable to at this time because of the serious risks that coronavirus still holds".

Finding calm in the chaos however can help ease your anxieties and prepare you for post lockdown life.

Dominique adds that being able to slow down and press reset can be most helpful for those struggling at this time.

"Understanding and being honest with your needs and limits, and building up your self-confidence and courage are just a couple of things that can help you get the most out of introspection and implementing new habits and change for better mental health."


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