Wednesday, April 21, 2021

COVID-19 Lockdown increasing domestic violence, substance abuse in Nigeria — Psychologist


tiamin rice

A Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Akin Gabriel, on Monday said that the lockdown imposed in certain states to contain COVID-19 has led to increased domestic violence, substance abuse and distorted perceptions in people.

Mr Gabriel, who works at the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, FNPHY, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

According to the psychologist, being restricted, whether from going out or receiving visitors, particularly when people are not prepared for it, could cause quite a number of mental health issues.

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According to him, one major mental health issue people may experience during the lockdown is having distorted perceptions.

He further said that these perceptions would in turn affect people’s beliefs, thinking and feelings.

“People are now beginning to look at so many things, especially the government and religious institutions.

“They are now having negative perceptions and beginning to see them as not having their interest at heart,” he said.

The psychologist said the negative feelings would eventually lead to fear, worry, anxiety and anger.

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He said: “Negative feelings bring negative behaviours.

“Somebody who is worried, anxious and angry may begin to abuse substances, especially alcohol or display some of the anger on people around him, because there’s a lockdown, on children and spouses.”

Mr Gabriel urged all those experiencing the lockdown to ensure they have access to communicate with people, adopt a daily routine and exercise regularly to help boost their mental health.

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