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There are quite a few of us, who are desperately waiting to step out of our houses and party all night long, once the pandemic is over! For some, this is not quite how they feel. They are terribly anxious about facing the world again after a long spell, And guess what, this condition has a name—it’s called the re-entering syndrome.
Our life goes through so many changes, and eventually we get accustomed to it. For some, it’s much harder to adjust, and brings with a whole lot of anxiety and discomfort.
Before the pandemic, most people were anxious about staying at home, but after a point they got into the habit and dealt with it. Now when things are gradually getting back to normal, people are trying to step out and resume activities that they would partake in earlier. Of course, they had some initial anxiety but they got over it!
That’s not the same for some people—they just can’t get themselves to stop worrying about what’s going to happen if they step out of their houses. “It is this over thinking that is leading to paranoia. This kind of anxiety isn’t normal and that’s why it is called out to be pathological in nature,” explains Dr. Santosh Bangar, consultant psychiatrist, Global Hospital, Mumbai.
“When a person suffers from re-entry syndrome, he literally gets a cultural shock. Such people are easily recognizable, as they are worked up about everything. They’ll overdo the precautions, get paranoid if someone sneezes in front of them, thinking they might be infected as well. And of course, they just avoid going out due to this paranoia”, Dr Bangar explains.
How re-entry syndrome affects a person?
“Heading out after so long might make you over anxious about how you’re going to cope up with this new normal. People who are affected with this condition suffer from abnormal sleeping patterns, loss in appetite, and all you’ll see them doing is looking for symptoms and checking updates around it”, he said.
He adds, “People are paranoid because this is new for them and there is no cure as of now. If you look at the data, people die more due to TB in India than Covid-19. Moreover, due to this syndrome, their brain gets so overworked that they take the help of sleeping pills, alcohol, and other drugs to divert their attention.”
Here are the three ways that can help you embrace the ‘new normal’:
1. Don’t go overboard
Thinking way too much about the virus won’t make any difference. If you’re stepping out, make sure you take all the precautions and you’ll be fine. “Too much usage of sanitizers, and being fearful will make your case worse. Being nervous is fine, but you need to draw a line between being cautious and over fearful”, he said.
2. Stay away from negative news
“Covid-19 is a pandemic and of course you’ll hear about it a lot. Now you have to decipher what news to believe, and what to scrap. Also, blindly following every Whatsapp message or social media updates isn’t required, since you don’t know how true it is. Such things will only create hysteria and nothing else”, he explains.
3. Practice a relaxing technique
Suit yourself. If you find yoga makes you calm, go for it. Else, you can read a book, listen to music, or indulge in your favourite hobby to distract your mind from the information overload. Avoid negative thoughts and do not procrastinate, because it will just develop more fear and make it harder for you to embrace the new normal.
This too, shall pass, so don’t get so paranoid and be fearful at all times! Just ensure you take all the precautions, and slowly and steadily get ready to face the ‘post-Covid’ world!