People who followed lockdown guidelines 'utterly and completely frustrated', psychiatrist says


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.22 30 Mar 2021


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People who were committed to the lockdown guidelines are now 'utterly and completely frustrated', according to a consultant psychiatrist.

It comes as there may be no easing of restrictions on April 5th, as the Government takes a phased approach to easing some measures.

Instead, the easing of a limited number of restrictions next month will happen in steps - likely from April 12th.

Patricia Casey is professor of psychiatry at the Department of Adult Psychiatry in UCD and a consultant psychiatrist in the Mater Hospital.

She told Newstalk Breakfast even people who were originally committed to the restrictions have had enough.

"I'm absolutely convinced that people are fed up of them, and most people have pandemic fatigue at the moment.

"People who were very committed and very rigidly adhering to the lockdown guidelines are now, in my view, utterly and completely frustrated.

"And many people are angry because they're saying to themselves 'I've done everything, we were told at the beginning that this would be over in three months, we worked really hard at it... and here we are still in lockdown almost a year on'".

Vaccine rollout

Prof Casey said frustration has now turned to the vaccine, and a lack of movement on restrictions.

"People are now supposedly getting the vaccine - people will be looking at the vaccine rollout and saying 'This should be happening more quickly, this should be the beginning of the end of the lockdown'.

"And we were all hoping against hope that there would be a much greater reduction in restrictions after the Government's comment in the next few days.

"But that doesn't seem to be happening.

"People are going to start wondering about the rollout - 'why is it so slow?' - they're going to look to our neighbours to the UK, who in less then two weeks will be able to meet other people."

She queried whether Ireland has done enough to help itself by looking outside the European Union.

"There is absolutely nothing to stop us - some countries within the EU, like Germany, have actually bought from elsewhere outside the EU".

"We are very disorganised about it, and there is no reason why we can't move from the EU restrictions and buy our own supplies if the Government had the balls to do it".

And Prof Casey said more patients are being referred to her.

"In my clinic there are people coming to me who are now tipping into depression who never were depressed before.

"Initially, I didn't think that was going to happen - I thought this was just going to be the ordinary fed-upness that we're all now feeling.

"I've had several people referred with very severe OCD because people are so preoccupied by this pandemic that they can do nothing - several people have had to take time off work - because they are so preoccupied with cleaning, sanitising, trying to read the research, trying to get their heads around it.

"I think when people are faced with no timelines [for] the easing of the restrictions, that people will begin to disobey them".

People who followed lockdown guidelines 'utterly and completely frustrated', psychiatrist says

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Depression Lockdown Lockdown Guidelines Mater Hospital Newstalk Breakfast Ocd Patricia Casey Vaccines

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