Alcohol vs Coronavirus?
clock_iconApril 06, 2020 clock_icon8 min read

For a few months now, every morning we wait for news bulletins on the number of victims of COVID19. Millions of people are seriously worried, many experience feelings that are close to panic. This is not a simple situation for an ordinary normal and healthy person. And this is a crisis for those who have an unstable psyche, weakened by addiction to alcohol or drugs.

In ordinary life, an alcoholic or drug addict is used to relieving any stress with a glass or drug. Today we all face not just a stressful situation, but a real threat – the worldwide carnivores pandemic. Any threat is a challenge. And like any challenge, it requires a response and action. If these actions are effective and adequate, there is every reason to hope that we will cope with this challenge. This applies to everyone – the state, the family, each of us.

However, not everything is so simple. In such an atypical and unpredictable situation, it is difficult for everyone. And first of all, for those who suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. Such people immediately get into the risk zone, because they can very easily “break loose”, not having passed the stress test. The easiest “recipe for salvation” – again to turn to alcohol for help but, in fact, not only it does not work, but also exacerbates the situation. Why stress can not be filled with alcohol – we will talk more about it later. Today, the main thing is to understand how to cope with growing anxiety during an unusual epidemiological situation.


Today, a large number of people are very anxious. Anxiety – a feeling of uncertainty, threat, fear that something bad will happen, but what exactly and when is unknown. How to get rid of anxiety, protect yourself from rash and incorrect decisions and actions that can be caused by panic?

First of all, it is worth using your experience of overcoming difficulties. Remember how you deal with stressful situations. Sometimes communication with relatives and friends can help a lot. The best way is meditation, for some – sports walks.

Do not ignore the situation, but there is no need to panic. If you feel that your level of anxiety is growing while communicating with someone or watching tv or videos, it is best to temporarily exclude such contacts and watching. Communicate more with people who keep sound judgment and whose approach to the problem calms you. It may be some reliable person on the Internet, for example. 

It must be borne in mind that if our brain perceives something as frightening, unknown, it exaggerates the degree of risk and gives the impression that this will happen or is happening to you now. Accordingly, the body’s reaction to fear is an adrenaline rush. Then your body is in constant stress. And it is important to avoid this because in this state we are very susceptible to any disease. Our disturbing thoughts are very sticky, and the more we resist them, the more they cling.

The situation is complicated by the fact that it is not very clear what is the real degree of danger. In the gigantic stream of information, one can find the same facts with directly opposite interpretations. And the attitude of people to what is happening is also sometimes radically different. In many families, the coronavirus puts its members on edge. The wife is nervous: “ Wipe the package of milk with a sanitizer – we do not know who touched  it in the store!”, And the husband laughs: “Do not exaggerate, the risk is far-fetched, didn’t we live with the flu before?! …”.

Teenagers have their point of view on what is happening: “I will not get infected, it does not threaten youth!”. Yes, and some old people say: “So many things we have survived, you will not scare us with a virus …”. On the other hand, we see panic moods, some people speak about the end of the world.

Our nervous system is designed the way it is very difficult for it to be in a situation of danger and uncertainty. Today, people are faced with an unusual situation. Yes, we do not see danger with our own eyes. But the measures that different states are taking are unprecedented. They say that the danger is very serious.

From morning till night, all the media repeat this. In such circumstances, keeping calm is not easy. We did not have time to adapt to all this. Perhaps if we live like this for three months, we may be able to adapt. But for now – this is very stressful.

Quarantine, forced isolation, economic consequences hit the very deep layers of our psyche. The expectation of danger, the need to constantly be on the alert – it takes a lot of resources of the body.

The psyche cannot be in such stress for a long time. Protective mechanisms, which depend on the nature of the individuals are being activated. Someone turns on the denial, and such a person says: “Yes, nothing is happening at all”. Someone turns on the alarm, and we get the opposite pole – panic. Someone is using defensive aggression looking for the guilty.

Now even close people sometimes cease to understand each other.

When the polarization in the family reaches a boiling point, sane, loving people begin to quarrel, proving to each other their point of view. This desire to prove something is an attempt to streamline uncertainty and chaos. It turns out that they swear to be protected from painful uncertainty and helplessness.

When one of the partners sees what is happening to the other, the best thing he or she can do in this situation is to try to calm him or her down somehow, to talk about it. To listen is sometimes enough to significantly reduce the anxiety of the person who, in your opinion, is unnecessarily panicking. And one who is too careless will be made to listen to your opinion. Once you have listened to him or her, then he or she will listen to you. Worst of all it is when nobody wants to listen.

Especially difficult is the situation with teenagers. If a teenager is told: from now on you don’t go anywhere, you’re staying at home, it’s crystal clear that there will be a riot. In psychology, there is an expression – to speak the language of needs. For example, say: daughter, I love you very much. Yes, I understand that the situation is uncertain. I understand that you do not agree with this, and have a right to it. But I am very worried. You can’t say “I forbid you”, it’s better to say “I’m scared, please help me.”

Control Your Emotions

A person needs to know that he or she keeps the situation under control. Anxiety is characterized by a fear of losing control and high stress. To get rid of it, it is necessary to take measures to return a sense of control over the situation. It is necessary to find real points for applying your efforts, to complete some important and useful actions.

To be able to protect yourself and your loved ones, it is important to keep adequacy and contact with reality. Contact with reality means that you understand who you are, where you are, what is happening now and what your tasks are.

For example, if you are in forced isolation, you must understand that communication is important during such isolation. It is necessary to call friends and relatives by video link, to participate in the discussion of various topics in forums and chats. If you experience anxiety or psychological discomfort, you can even contact a psychologist online.

It is very well if a person has a hobby, some business that he or she can enthusiastically be engaged in during this time.

If there is no such activity, you can sit down and make up a list of affairs that you can occupy yourself with. It can be anything: watching TV shows and movies, reading books, learning languages and other disciplines on video lessons, useful housework that you put off all the time.

You might want to try to master some new activity for yourself – in general, you can find a way to use this time in the best way.

Another thing is quarantine and work. Many companies put their employees in remote mode. This is not easy for everyone. In this situation, it is important to set the mode of work and rest and create comfortable conditions for yourself so as not to be distracted by homework and worries. The family should discuss the spatial and temporal boundaries and conditions that will suit everyone for the period of quarantine measures.

If a test confirms you have a COVID19, then in no case you should panic. Our thinking is characterized by distortions in assessing the significance of the event. This may be an exaggeration: “This is the end, a catastrophe” or an understatement, up to the denial – “It is all nonsense, I will do nothing”. Both extremes are inappropriate.

It is important to be reasonable. You need to understand that this is just a virus with which our body can fight. And now it’s very important to prevent complications.

It is also important not to let panic grow among loved ones, because often family members are more worried than the patient himself. We are always frightened by situations that we cannot control, and when it comes to our relatives, sometimes it is simply unbearable. Therefore, family members need to be encouraged, and if it doesn’t work, communication should be reduced to a minimum for now.

It is necessary to fulfill the requirements of doctors: in modern realities, medical care can cope with the problem of COVID19. It is very important to remember that cooperation with a doctor, trust in him and following his instructions is the key to successful treatment. This phenomenon in medical psychology is called compliance. You must agree to be cured.

In no case allow yourself to fall into despair. More often remind yourself that for many, the coronavirus was asymptomatic, people did not even suspect that they were sick.

Remind yourself that mortality is very low, the infection can be easily cured. Think more often about what you will do first when you recover, where you will go, who you will meet, these will make it easier for you to survive the recovery period.

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