SEMARANG – Limiting information or news and sorting out what is trustworthy and what is not, can help reducing anxiety of COVID-19 patients. Anxiety can also be reduced by increasing physical and psychological immunity. These are statements from Online Seminar “Psychological Influence on Covid Patients” held by Psychiatry Study Program and Section of Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University (UNDIP) in collaboration with Unity Life Specialist Doctors Indonesia (Perhimpunan Dokter Spesialis Kedokteran Jiwa Indonesia) Semarang Branch, on Friday (12/3/2021).
The speakers in the seminar are dr. Alifiati Fitrikasari, Sp.KJ (K) and dr. Widodo Sarjana A. S., Sp.KJ, MKM, both are from Psychiatry Department Faculty of Medicine Undip, while acting as moderator is dr. Hadi Purwanto. Anxiety is actually a normal thing, since it works as an alarm for us. But if it is happened too often, it can turn into a problem. “Normal anxiety is when there is something that makes us anxious, and it will fade away after the problem has been solved,” said doctor Alifiati.
She gave an example of a marathon runner who is approaching the finish and suddenly feeling anxious. Uncomfortable sensations also emerged from his body. “If we are aware, we should take a break first. But because he is not aware of the alarm given by the body in such an uncomfortable form, so when he finished the task he passed out,” she tried to illustrate the importance of paying attention to anxiety.
Regarding abnormal anxiety, said dr. Alifiati, who delivered her presentation entitled “Anxiety in Covid Patients”, which is prolonged anxiety even though the the anxiety stage felt by an individual has been surpassed. The anxiety symptoms begin to interfere with the quality of life then they become pathological. It can makes sleep becomes uncomfortable, and causes ache in individual’s body from head to toe. As example, anxiety can forms insomnia.
In such conditions, the patient needs help. One of the things that needs to be done is to avoid searching for bad news because it can affect the patient. Those who are worked in the medical field and crammed with information such as Covid-19 is a disease with a thousands symptoms can also be affected by anxiety. The uncertain information and news can cause anxiety.
Meanwhile, dr. Widodo Sarjana who delivered speech about “Tips in Overcoming Anxiety in Covid Patients” said that currently everyone is experiencing the similar storm of pandemic, while the conditions of ships are different. Thus, anxiety that arises is a natural reaction. Each of us boarded a different ships, which means that our abilities to resilience are different.
Widodo shares tips to overcome anxiety, namely by increasing both physical and psychological immunities. Covid-19 prevention tips are very popular, such as washing hands, wearing masks, keeping distance, avoiding handshakes and staying at home or working from home. Meanwhile, responsive mental attitude is formulated with the acronym BAAR (Breath, Asses, Action, Reflect). At this stage of the Asses, we need to select and sort information about the pandemic critically and wisely as a form of prevention.
For physical immunity, it can be done by regulating food and drinks, getting adequate rest, exercising, sunbathing in the morning or evening, avoiding smoking and alcohol. Meanwhile, psychological immunity requires a relaxed attitude by taking deep breaths and progressive muscle relaxation, maintaining positive emotions, building positive social relationships and enhancing spirituality.