One week ago we had a chat on the emotional and psychological toll of COVID-19 on Women and Girls with Rebecca Wamwene. Rebecca is skilled in case management and planning treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy, Bowenian family therapy and expressive arts therapy.
Bowenian Family Therapy is a counselling approach that a therapist uses to explore the presenting issues of a client. It maintains that an individual is best understood within a family context. Expressive art therapy combines psychology and creative process to promote emotional growth and healing.
In this article, we look at the psychological toll of COVID-19 on women and girls, and the questions that were addressed in the chat.
How is COVID affecting teen romantic relationships?
Due to pandemic fatigue and multiple fears the following may ensue.
- Emotional burnout.
- Throwing tantrums
- Lack of sexual energy and rampant wars both physical and verbal.
- Blame game and separation.
Who can I contact to help support a victim of domestic violence?
There is a need to report to the nearest police station in case you sense violence, a suicidal person is highly homicidal. In case they start saying I don’t see sense in life, or display helplessness, there is a need to be cautious. You can also speak to a counsellor or therapist if there is no inflicted harm. Call 999,112,911 or the gender-based-violence free hotline, 1195 .
Which mental health issues are on the rise because of COVID (if any)
Pandemic fatigue has had a psychological toll on many. This may have led to suicidal and homicidal ideations, anxiety disorders such as OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorders) panic disorders, Social Phobia, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What are some of the psychological issues seen in kids as a result of COVID?
Anger issues, throwing tantrums, withdrawal, nightmares and fear, especially when they see the burials and stigma attached to it. Some have even resulted in bed wetting which was not the case before.
The effect of COVID 19 to teen romantic relationships
A shifting – due to locking them in the houses, a lot of fear, anxiety and confusion ensues. Instead of relating to their boyfriends physically, some have resulted in phone sex, masturbation, and incest.
Freezing – research has found that our brain is divided into three: lizard brain, mammal brain and the human brain. The lizard brain is mostly used when one is frightened or extremely anxious, thus some of our teens freeze or numb. This may lead to psychological breakdowns, pornography, or escapism.
Can Rebecca share a bit about how some of her experience can help relieve the emotional toll and the psychological toll of COVID-19 has taken on people and kids
Like indicated above Expressive art therapy is one of the best and effective ways of enabling a child or a highly traumatized person to express themselves… When dealing with a child a lot of caution should be exercised because they can
- Shut down
- Lose concentration
- Get scared
- Tell lies
How can mums help their girls and teens cope with pandemic fatigue?
Remember a teen is oscillating between a child and an adult. They are trying to locate and understand themselves. Expose them to new things BUT prepare them. Notice they are already disoriented by the new normal.
Don’t scare them further. Bring in indoor games for them, rearrange the house, burn calories with them through rope jumping, jog on the spot or a walk around the estate. Love them, praise them and encourage them.
For campus going students, they are adults. Their approach may be different
- Deeper exchange of ideas.
- Encourage them to come up with ideas by themselves of how they can balance their energy.
- They can catch up with their friends via zoom or other apps.
What is the best way one can re-parent themselves during this time? Keeping in mind that we already are parents and are stuck at home.
By allowing yourself to appreciate the small things in your life. Analyse what you have achieved in life even the smallest of them. Use the gratitude jar for thanking God and yourself for being strong, assertive and appreciate yourself. Use the dustbin to throw away any baggage, garbage in your past. Appreciate and hug your inner child always. Love your children with the love you never received when growing.
How do you deal with a person who’s too harsh, what is the therapeutic way, if you have tried to be calm but they’re still very harsh.?
Find out the cause of that harshness. Discuss together or with a third party. Be careful that you don’t make things worse. In case of violence consider keeping off a bit until he/she relaxes
Remove yourself from that space ever so often. Read a book or sit on your own. Our homes have proved to be too small for all of us in this pandemic. Give them space.
Apart from the police station and chief’s camp, the following offer help to domestic violence victims
- Childline Kenya: Location: Kirichua lane, Na.irobi Helpline: 116, WhatsApp:0722116116
- Gender violence recovery: Location: Nairobi women hospital. Helpline:0719638006
- Centre for assault recovery( CAR_E) Location: Moi teaching referral.Helpline:+254532033471/ +254532062005.
- Women Right Sweetness programme ( wrap): Location: Mvuli lane near muthaiga police
- Helpline:0722252939 / 0721367677
- Fida-Kenya is also offering counselling and legal aid services: helpline- 0800720-501
If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, talking about the emotional and psychological toll of COVID-19 WhatsApp us on +254736275978.
You May Also Like: