Written by Michael Newland, with Adam Scarborough RMN

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Vast numbers of people are having severe mental problems as a result of a lack of social contact. 

In London, you cannot even meet a friend in your home, with some limited exceptions. Even many of those who have people they can meet outside or inside have been so traumatised by months of irresponsible press scaremongering that they are reluctant to go out. The scale of this is now vast. The media has utterly failed in its job of informing and analysing and it’s increasingly impossible not to see the Government as relishing the micro control over citizens’ lives it has found – perhaps to its surprise – it could easily extract from its Lockdown rules, regulations and laws.

Our job as citizens is to protect ourselves and each other from this monstrous tyranny while remaining within the law. Sooner or later the penny will drop and it’s no surprise to hear rumours that Boris Johnson is planning his getaway to make more and more money long before the next election: getting out before the house of cards comes crashing down, leaving others with the mess.

Isolation breeds fear and reinforces the terror already being inflicted by cuddly ‘Boris’ and his chums. I think he’s copying the subject of his biography, Winston Churchill, in how to operate. The recent film Darkest Hour represented an utterly ruthless politician described as morally debased by one of his close colleagues, as superficially a bumbling rather harmless but well-meaning fool. Get the idea?

I see people wearing filthy old masks in the street which must be infecting them, not protecting them – even if masks worked. If I ask them why, they say something like ‘to be on the safe side’, ‘keep out of trouble’, ‘hedging my bets’. One repeated the smug mantra ‘to protect you’.  Some touch their faces signaling ‘put a mask on before you kill me’. People rush by, afraid to linger near another human. I learned via personal acquaintance about a doctor who supported the covid regime until the doctor found himself banned from visiting his very elderly mother with severe heart problems. Suddenly he woke up to the fact that what is happening is not just about a virus – it’s about power and control even if it did not start out like that. 

A popular line is now ‘intensive care beds running out’ even though they are no fuller than normal for the time of year. But it might be true so I’d better hedge my bets. Keep away from people. ‘Can you get it by emailing?’, I heard…

Here are some suggestions about what may help us to survive from a registered mental nurse. None of this should be taken as medical advice. These are merely personal views:

 

Sensory deprivation – by Adam Scarborough RMN

The current Covid crisis is undoubtedly causing social isolation on a massive scale not witnessed in history. To exacerbate the problem, ‘social distancing’, aka social isolation, is being promoted as normal by the UK government. The recognition of this as a rationale for healthy living is not only oxymoronic and self-contradictory but the term also deviates from normal practices in psychology and psychiatry. Acceptance of the term ‘social distancing’ is, therefore, and in itself, self-perpetuating and accelerates the development of mental illness.

Here are a few paragraphs on sensory deprivation, what it is, the negative longer term effects on mental health and how to avoid them:

Short-term sensory deprivation can be relaxing and conducive to health – meditation for example. However, extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, temporary senselessness, paranoia, depression and ultimately suicidal ideation.

In the 1950s, university researchers put volunteers in tiny rooms and deprived them of sensory input when Donald O. Hebb, a professor of psychology at Montreal’s McGill University, set out to study how sensory isolation affects human cognition. The results were terrifying, including the likely shrinking of brain cell tissues.

What conditions allow sensory deprivation to develop?

  1. Isolation following bereavement.
  2. Long prison sentences and other forms of deprivation of liberty.
  3. Long periods alone (often referred to as ‘cabin fever ‘).
  4. The current Covid crisis.
  5. Dark rumination & derealisation.

Ways to overcome/prevent the primary effects of forced sensory deprivation:

  1. Lead a structured day
  2. Vary your environment
  3. DO NOT compromise your health by considering extreme social isolation normal (or Government buzz word ‘new normal’). Doing so is a detrimental self-fulfilling prophecy
  4. Vary your stimulation with what’s considered ‘iron routine’, i.e. 2 hours reading followed by 2 hours exercise etc. (prisoners have survived years of solitary confinement using this technique)
  5. Consider your various aspects of need, i.e. physical, social, environmental requirements and how to attain them
  6. Daily exercise prevents psychological frustration and is known to boost endorphins making you feel happier. – healthy daily activity is conducive to helping you to sleep better
  7. Do anything (within reasonable practicality) that allows you to feel better about yourself
  8. Avoid ruminating/dwelling on current coronavirus restrictions, particularly if it lowers your mood
  9. Maintain social contacts however small, and remember that one of the best feelings one can have is never to feel alone.

 

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Photo by wiredforlego

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