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Wellness

Looks Like An Endless Looping: Living With Addictions In Quarantine

The covid-19 pandemic has totally changed society’s way of living, mainly due to social isolation, and after a year in this situation, we are still quarantined. Two weeks of quarantine became a year, and with that mental exhaustion has grown among individuals. Insecurity of the future and fear contribute even more to the worsening of people’s mental health, and favor the development of addictions, such as cigarettes, alcohol and social media.

An Endless Looping: About The Addictions!

Addictions are repetitive and excessive habits of some substance, which cause harm to the addicted person. With the worsening of the pandemic scenario in Brazil, the development of addictions becomes more common and worrying, which negatively affects people. According to the clinical psychologist Lucymara Prado Costa, “This moment has been difficult for everyone and more and more people are looking for ways to relieve anxiety, tiredness, fear and sadness immediately, this contributes to the development of unhealthy behaviors and habits''. 

Dr. Prado Costa continues to say that in a general way the most common addictions she observed in her patients are alcohol, cigarettes, medications and indiscriminate use of social media. The consequences of these unhealthy habits according to her are: anxiety, depression and conflicts with family, which often leads to greater social isolation, which results in an increase of this vicious cycle, leading to illness.

The excess of time people are spending at home, often unable to communicate with someone by living alone, leads to the development of unhealthy habits to relieve the surrounding tension. With Ana Catarina, 18, that’s exactly what happened: The addiction that consumes me is the app TikTok, I started as a joke, but then it began to become a routine. There were days that I spent 6 hours on the app. That worried me, but I don’t know what to do to stop. I think that the main reason I have this addiction is to escape obligations.” 

So What Should We Do About That?

For the psychologist Prado Costa, it’s important to raise awareness about these addictions and their effects on people. As a tip, she suggested that the person with these habits tries to perceive and understand what is motivating the inappropriate habit and put a healthier activity in place, such as reading a book or doing a physical activity. And that’s the case of Georgia Jallas, 18, and Maria Mesquita, 17, both of them started to acquire the addition of spending hours on their cell phones in the beginning of quarantine.

I ended up creating this unhealthy habit of always being on-line during quarantine, procrastination only got worse because of it, I didn’t care so much about deadlines of school assignments, and I started to feel useless”, said Georgia. To try to stop this habit, she found meditation as a way to concentrate and stop spending hours in a row on social media procrastinating. With Maria was similar, but to stop this addiction she started to read books, and when she needed to concentrate and study, she turned off her cell phone and put away from her.

In conclusion, the most important thing to do, according to Dr Prado Costa, is to go after a psychologist or even a psychiatrist to treat these addictions. In addition, she said that it is very important to talk to someone trusted to relieve this tension and all the negative feelings that social isolation has caused.

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The article above was edited by ​Lívia Carvalho.

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Isadora Costa

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student passionate about any form of art. Telling stories fascinates and that's what I'm trying to do here.
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