While anxiety at normal level against coronavirus creates a protective effect that enables taking precautions and affects mental health positively, being constantly and excessively anxious affects mental health negatively.

Human beings have been afraid and anxious of life threatening illnesses for years. Today, the most feared epidemic is the corona virus (Covid-19). The virus spreading all over the world from Wuhan city of China negatively affects people's mental health and psychological diseases.

It is seen that the epidemic causes intense anxiety, panic and stressful living conditions in the society. Coronaphobia is essentially a state of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. What if the virus is transmitted to me, or if I spread the virus to the environment, and if I cannot see my loved ones again, the fear and anxiety of death lie under the negative thoughts. While anxiety at the normal level against coronavirus creates a protective effect that enables taking precautions and affects mental health positively, having constant and excessive anxiety affects mental health negatively.

The fact that the disease has not yet been treated affects individuals with psychological / psychiatric diseases such as Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Common Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Attack. It causes individuals with Agoraphobia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to experience psychological symptoms intensely.

Agorophobia is the avoidance behavior that the person performs because he does not feel safe. People with this disease may have the behavior of not going out of the house for days with the fear of "if I go out or something bad happens to me". In order to protect against corona virus, it can be preventive for agorophobia to evaluate these days, especially when we stay at home, as 'social isolation'.

It is thought that there may be an increase in recurrent cleaning-related compulsions (behavior and mental actions) that are frequently observed in individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Individuals with the subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) contamination, contamination, and washing have increased their obsessions and compulsions due to their fear of catching coronaphobia. Individuals who have obsession with cleaning can show their washing behaviors in a cycle many times with the thought that they are dirty and dirty even though they wash their hands. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have the idea that crowded environments, guests coming home, outfits are always dirty. Although the items have been cleaned, they can be repeatedly cleaned, not sure. Its coronavirus, which affects the whole world and has fatal consequences, naturally increases the effect of obsession and compulsion. If the coronavirus continues, we can transform into the world of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Measures we can take to protect our psychology from coronaphobia

Instead of being in a panic mood, we should try to take measures more calmly and consciously. Panic, stress, anxiety make our body resilient and our immune system becomes weak. It is important to pay attention to a healthy diet and sleep patterns in order to increase our psychological resilience. We can diversify the time we spend at home with family members with fun activities. It will be good for our mental health to include sports and breathing exercises daily. In this process, it will be healthier to follow official and scientific sources by avoiding following realistic and unreliable news sources. While coronavirus triggers many psychological disorders, it will be beneficial for the clients to continue their psychotherapy processes. By protecting our mental health, we can have better psychology and be stronger when dealing with the virus. I wish you healthy days.

Psychologist Cansu ABALI
Medilife Bağcılar / Çapa Hospital