The Third Wave of COVID-19 Alert

Alert: The Third Wave of COVID-19

Five mental health professionals are warning against the psychological distress they see every day. It can be taken for a wake-up call from mental health professionals. Less than two weeks before deconfinement, four French psychiatrists – Serge Hefez, Marie Rose Moro, Rachel Bocher, Marion Leboyer – and the philosopher and psychoanalyst Cynthia Fleury are calling on the government to act urgently to avoid what they call “the third wave of of Covid-19 is a wave to which we are all be exposed,” according to them.

Fatigue, mental astonishment 

Not very visible, the psychological consequences of these months of pandemic are nevertheless very present. “We are seeing the emergence of unease, moral suffering and more and more psychiatric problems among the French and elsewhere”, underlines with seriousness the psychiatrist Serge Hefez. Fatigue, mental astonishment, fear, anxiety, anguish, anger, insomnia… The doctor insists on the “trauma” experienced by the populations. “A more global crisis, fueled by terrorist attacks for example, has also affected all the values of our society, tearing the social bonds even further,” adds the psychiatrist. “You see a fear of conspiracy, a withdrawal into oneself, a paranoia, where everyone can become everyone’s enemy.”

Rapid spread of the virus, saturated resuscitation services, countless numbers of deaths… Since the beginning of the year, the crisis has insidiously bathed us in a “reality of death” to which we are no longer accustomed, warns the philosopher and psychoanalyst Cynthia Fleury. “There is like a generational amnesia, all of this is very new to us,” she explains. “This over-strains our mental health and produces maximum anxiety.”

The uncertainty that hangs over the next few months is also a source of anxiety. “Our healing places have also changed,” adds Cynthia Fleury. “We can say to ourselves that the vaccines are coming and that everything will soon go on as before, nothing is less certain and simple. This can be a great source of unease. ”

All affected of The COVID Wave

This third wave of psychiatry affects everyone. “We know that the crisis increases our risk of developing depression by 30%, and that of suffering from anxiety disorders by 20%,” recalls Marion Leboyer, psychiatrist and director of the FondaMentalFoundation. Certain populations remain more at risk, such as the precarious, women and young people.

Marie-Rose Moro, professor of psychiatry and director of La maison de Solenn, draws attention to the special case of babies, children (also children of migrants or vulnerable families), adolescents and their parents. “Regardless of their age, the crisis is disrupting their development. Teenagers, for example, need to join society in order to develop. But the epidemic and the confinements are changing their social relationships, learning, and thwarting their movement,” illustrates the specialist.

In practice, the youngest risk anxiety disorders, depressive states, addiction to screens, or even fear of the outdoors for the little ones. “The most fragile will endure the second wave even more badly and will decompensate, we see them arriving in emergencies. All these new situations require a new and rapid reaction,” insists the psychiatrist.

Act fast

Professionals ask for concrete and rapid actions. Starting with prevention, launching an information campaign to “de-stigmatize” psychosocial disorders, and improving access to mental health professionals and care through the deployment of a dedicated platform. The professionals insist: the crisis must be the opportunity to reflect on the healthcare system.

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