Covid compliance: Here's why the most obedient citizens are now struggling mentally

Homepage - News

A recent study from Bangor University offers a profound insight into the long-term mental health consequences for those who strictly followed lockdown rules.

The world is grappling with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, not just in physical health terms but also in the context of mental wellbeing.

During the peak of the pandemic, the UK, like many countries, implemented stringent lockdown measures. Researchers at Bangor University have found that individuals with empathetic personalities were the most compliant. These individuals are often characterized by their caring nature and sensitivity towards others' needs. Fast forward three years and the same individuals are now reporting higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Contrastingly, those known for their independence and control over their lives, are emerging from the pandemic with their mental health relatively unscathed.

Institutionalised by the lockdown?

It has been suggested that the mental health crisis among rule followers is comparable to institutionalisation, and that people are struggling with the absence of the very rules that once dictated their daily lives. This closely mirrors what is seen in individuals who spend prolonged periods in structured environments like prisons or the military.

Mark Winstanley, the chief executive of the charity Rethink Mental Illness weighed in:

“It’s important to recognise that those who took the greatest steps to protect themselves and others have seen an enduring impact on their mental health... While many want to move on from the pandemic and life under lockdown, its legacy lives with many people to this day, as worries or concerns about our loved ones or the risks to our own health can’t be easily shaken off.”

Is it possible that the lockdowns created a form of dependency, leaving individuals at a loss when required to make their own decisions? The transition from lockdown has not been an easy one, with many finding the lack of guidance post-pandemic very stressful.

One size does not fit all

The study highlights the need for a more nuanced approach to public health messaging. The one-size-fits-all directive during the pandemic may have inadvertently created a swath of the population now struggling to adjust to a world without constant guidance. Dr. Marley Willegers and his team suggest that future campaigns should take into account the varying personality types and the potential for long-term mental health repercussions.

The findings from Bangor University's study and the public discourse surrounding it signal a need for change. As we move forward, the key takeaway is that public health strategies must incorporate mental health considerations from the outset. Campaigns should balance the emphasis on communal responsibility with the importance of individual wellbeing.

Finding a balance

The study has shed light on a critical aspect of pandemic management: the delicate balance between public compliance and personal autonomy. The need for tailored messaging to help people transition from a state of dependency on regulations to self-reliance has never been more apparent.

As society continues to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, it is imperative that mental health support systems and public health officials work in tandem to address the complexities revealed by this study. The ultimate goal is to foster resilience and a sense of interdependent community that supports both collective safety and individual mental health.

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, please contact NHS 111 or the Samaritans on 116123 - free of charge and at any time.

Read More

Robbie Williams is still struggling with Covid-19 as he has problems performing on stage

Matthew Perry suffered from many health issues before dying at 54, here's what we know

Lewis Capaldi cancels concerts over health condition: What does he suffer from?


More news