The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is loneliness. As it continues to affect a large number of people across the globe, loneliness can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental health. Lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be deemed responsible for the general decline in mental health, with many people either previously or currently experiencing feelings of loneliness. This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week aims to generate conversation regarding the impact of loneliness on mental wellbeing, as well as educate the practical steps, we as a society, can take to address it.
Loneliness was a mutual emotion experienced by many throughout the last two years, due to lockdowns, isolation, and border closures, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now as the world returns to “normal”, people may be battling a mix of emotions including loneliness, but also social anxiety, loss of social skills or agoraphobia. As humans, we have been conditioned to read and respond to social cues such as eye contact and body language when engaging in day-to-day conduct. After spending a lengthy chunk of time communicating through a screen, it is possible to lose these social skills and possibly develop social anxiety at the prospect of returning to in-person interactions. This social anxiety may manifest itself into agoraphobia; a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. Additionally, as we gradually emerge from the pandemic, people may feel overly cautious, pessimistic, or frightened at the prospect of the world shutting down again. This is known as anticipatory anxiety, when extreme fear and dread are experienced prior to an event occurring, anticipating disaster. The combination of loneliness, social anxiety, and anticipatory anxiety can result in the adoption of a nihilistic mindset, as society attempts to make up for lost time, driven by the fear of missing out.
Psychologically, regardless of circumstance, humans are resilient creatures, equipped with the tools to tolerate and persevere through difficult situations. However, people tend to be better motivated when they are able to visualise an end point or goal. The pandemic was an open-ended nightmare, with no one able to determine when it would conclude, or if life could ever resume as it was. Along with this, harsh restrictions regarding out of state and international travel, and visitors in hospitals and aged care homes, resulted in many people unable to spend time with loved ones before their passing or attend funerals, manifesting anger amongst the population. These restrictions led to people experiencing feelings such as loss of control, freedom and meaning. It is human nature to search for someone else to blame, and the unknown territory of the pandemic frightened many. Now post-pandemic, people may still be harbouring negative emotions and learning to cope with loneliness, social anxiety, and anticipatory anxiety. There is no better time to take responsibility for your mental health than now, with the help of a new, innovative, and ground-breaking treatment regime, known as TMS.
Operating under a curative model, TMS is a series of non-invasive procedures that uses painless magnetic pulses to target pathways in the brain associated with decision-making, mood regulation and emotional maturity. The stimulation of these pathways further strengthens them and results in a boost of brain activity which can assist with mental illness, performance improvement, processing power, and more. The success rate of TMS has been well-documented, over many studies internationally showing positive results amongst many patients*.
*Taken from a study in the U.S. by TMS & Brain Health Clinics
Take back responsibility for your psychological wellbeing and create a meaningful life with TMS.