Lockdown Blues

Drum English|4 June 2020

Lockdown Blues
Motivation may be hard to find right now, but it can also be a symptom of depression
Jane Surtees

With billions of people around the world experien­cing some sort of restriction on their freedom, we’re conducting what the World Economic Forum has called “the largest psychological experiment ever”.

Apart from the long­lasting financial impact, the Swiss­based think­tank warns of a serious mental­health problem after we’ve been released from lockdown.

“We can expect to see a secondary epidemic of burnouts and stress­related absenteeism in the latter half of 2020,” it says.

Even before our lockdown, a recent review of 24 studies published in The Lancet journal on the psychological impact of quarantine found those people were very likely to develop a wide range of symptoms of psychological stress and disorder.

These include low mood, stress, insomnia, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression and post­traumatic stress symptoms.

So, it’s not surprising if you’re not feel­ ing the joy right now, but it is important to monitor your moods.

Lacking motivation is one thing, depression is another – and needs to be taken seriously.

DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DOWN

If you’re feeling down about something, it could be that you don’t really want to do it, or you do want to but don’t believe you can.

Some things may feel too big for you to cope with and maybe fear of failure or uncertainty is holding you back. Maybe you just have too much going on and you feel exhausted, or your lifestyle is not as healthy as it could be.

There’s nothing unusual about these feelings – most of us have them at one time or another – but trying to function without healthy motivation takes its toll on your mental and physical health, creativity, innovation and performance.

So if any of these examples ring a bell, it’s best to try to identify the source of your procrastination, which should then make it easier to find solutions for your specific issue.

However, sometimes these feelings can be more than a lack of motivation – and the blues just won’t go away.

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4 June 2020