The Fear of Coronavirus Could Make You Particularly Vulnerable to It

Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:33

A group of Iranian researchers from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Payame Noor University of Tehran and University of Tehran Kish International Campus have studied the psychosocial effects of pandemics and briefly reviewed health psychology strategies to tackle this crisis.

According to an ISCA report, Covid-19 is spreading fast, there is currently no vaccine or preventative treatment for it, and we do not know how deadly it actually is. Under these circumstances, it is understandable that people would be frightened.

Based on the research, which is published in the journal of Isfahan Medical School, the constant bombardment of coronavirus pandemic can result in heightened anxiety, with immediate effects on our mental health. Chronic anxiety suppresses the immune system and increases our risk for infection.

The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing incredible distress. Although it is important to be prepared during this pandemic, we do not need to panic.

Based on a research carried out in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University, anxiety about the unknown (such as our risk of COVID-19) can hyperactivate the fear center in the brain called the amygdala. In terms of evolution, this is one of the oldest parts of the brain and its operations are quite primitive; it acts like a trigger-happy alarm that interfaces with the stress system to keep our body and mind on high alert for as long as we are feeling anxious.

The mere suggestion of danger, even if it never is experienced, is enough to trigger the amygdala and activate the stress response. The problem is that chronic activation of the stress systems can damage our cells and upset many of the body’s functions. Our immune system bears the brunt.


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