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Anxiety and depression spike after lockdown

Anxiety and depression cases have spiked after restrictions to contain Covid-19 were imposed, a therapy centre said.

Claudia Cobon, a senior clinical psychologist at the Solstice clinic, said she had “definitely” seen an increase in worry and anxiety over the weekend.

Dr Cobon said fears ranged from concern about the health of family at home and abroad to worries over the availability of medical care.

People are also worried about money and “the future and what things will look like”.

Restrictions to combat the pandemic, which began on March 16, tightened over the weekend with a state of emergency and a two-week shelter-in-place regime.

Dr Cobon listed uneasiness over the adjustments needed for working and schooling at home to “disappointment and frustration with the disruption to major events such as exams, holidays, weddings and birthdays”.

She said people also had to deal with “worries about the confined spaces” and concerns over how families or couples will get along and the lockdown's effects on mental health and relationships.

Dr Cobon said on Saturday: “People have also expressed feelings of loneliness and concerns about how to stay connected with friends and family, especially, but not just, people who live alone.

“I have seen an increase in sadness, depression and loss connected with being away from family and friends, reduced activity and the impact on income and small businesses.”

She added: “On the other hand, I have also seen people embracing the changes and this having a positive impact on mental health.”

Dr Cobon said some people had eased their uncertainty by enjoying time with a pet, companions and families, as well as “enjoying the chance to slow down and do things at their own pace”.

People had also benefited from others checking on them and supporting one another, as well as finding creative new ways to work and socialise.

The clinic is running weekly webinars through April on addiction management, with the latest yesterday.

Gordon Johnson, a business adviser with Solstice, said the webinars, which started last Monday, had drawn “double- digit” participants.

He said life under Covid-19 had brought “significant changes with traditional services shuttered, physical-distancing, curfews and now a 14-day shelter-in-place order”.

Mr Gordon added: “Participants are raising many important questions on how to manage addiction during this unprecedented time.

“The global pandemic has quickly forced us all into new, different and innovative ways of connecting.”

To join the addiction webinar with Grant Farquhar, a Solstice psychiatrist, contact Gordon Johnson at

Claudia Cobon, a senior clinical psychologist at Solstice holistic wellness (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 07, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 07, 2020 at 9:00 am)

Anxiety and depression spike after lockdown

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