Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.35 17 Oct 2020


Share this article


As the country deals with more uncertainty around another potential lockdown, one expert says we need to shift the focus.

Dr Colman Noctor is a child and adolescent psychoanalytical psychotherapist.

He told Newstalk Breakfast perspective is an important tool for everyone.

"Traditionally what anxious people do, or what we do when we're anxious, is we over-estimate the challenge and underestimate our own ability.

"We really need to put the challenge in perspective and say 'Look, it is really difficult' but really work on nurturing your own sense of ability to mange it.

"There's loads of things that you can do for yourself in terms of keeping yourself as safe as possible.

"Social distancing - I hate that word - I much prefer 'physical distancing', because socially we can still connect.

"I think what we must learn from the lockdown the last time when we went underground and we didn't connect with anyone, we kind of lost our social appetite and it took a while for us to get back into that."

Dr Noctor said people should keep in touch with each other, even if they have little to say.

"I would be much more keen to keep the social links going and keeping the momentum, even though there's not a lot of things to talk about.

"Even just connecting with people every day, in some respects, it makes it easier than if you've gone three months without talking to someone and then you're trying to connect it again.

"For Irish people, who are so good at talking, I think for a time there we found shooting the breeze difficult because we didn't have an awful lot of things to talk about.

"So I think keeping the momentum going with that."

'Concentrate on what we can control'

He also said it's important to focus on you and elements that you can contol.

"I don't think we should panic, and there's no need for a rush to go out and get toilet roll... it just heightens the hysteria.

"And just try not to get upset about the things we can't control.

"Worrying about house parties and golf dos in Clifden and all those things that we can't control really just causes us to get more panicked.

"It is about trying to concentrate on the things that we can influence".

"People in World Wars and things must have thought at times 'This will never end', and it did - and this will end too".

Issue of 'neverendingness'

But he said he has never been busier with requests for referrals.

"If I'm going by the gauge of my phone and e-mails, in terms of people looking for a referral, the last few weeks have definitely been the busiest than ever before - even the start of lockdown, mid-lockdown.

"I think people are really disillusioned about the possibility of a second return, I think that fact that it's winter, the fact that we won't have the sunny weather to get us through it.

"But also I think the neverendingness is really an issue for people.

"I think we all kind of said 'If we can get through this once, hopefully we'll be able to do it and it'll resolve itself - we'll be back at music festivals and we'll be back doing these things.'

"At the moment that just seems so far away for people.

"And I think for young people especially they're starting to, perhaps, see how windows of time in their lives and developmental steps that are going to be missed - they're probably not going to get those back.

"I use the example of those who are maybe starting college for the first time this year: they've missed out on the Leaving Cert, there's no Freshers Week, there's no chance to live abroad... all that sort of stuff that becomes part of young adult life."

"I think it's wearing thin on people now, and whatever resources we were accessing at the start of this, I think we're probably depleting in those right now".

"But everything we do for mental fitness - if anyone is feeling down you'd say 'Go and meet people, meet up with your friends, socialise, connect, get some sun on your face' - all of those mental fitness skillsets are not available to us now.

"So even as psychologists and psychotherapists, we're scrapping the the barrel to try and find things that people can do to help themselves".

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or access mental health services here

Main image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Share this article


Read more about

Dr Colman Noctor Getting Through A Lockdown Mental Health Social Contacts Surviving Lockdown

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of The Pat Kenny Show

Best Of The Pat Kenny Show

09:00-11:00

Share

Up next

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

11:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-18:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

18:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on