Psychological Aspects In Time Of Pandemic. Juan Moisés De La Serna

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Название Psychological Aspects In Time Of Pandemic
Автор произведения Juan Moisés De La Serna
Жанр Медицина
Издательство Медицина
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9788835413622

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Medical School; Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health; Medical Centre, Providence VA Medical Centre; and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University; together with Division of Network Medicine, Brigham Hospital; Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; together with the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital; Department of Dermatology, Rhode Island Hospital (EE.UU.) together with the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, University of Peking (China) (Li et al., 2017).

      The study involved 67,910 women between the ages of 25 and 35 who were asked regards the frequency with which they used UVA ray tanning rooms. The aim of the study was to determine if there was an association between frequent indoor tanning and other mental disorders such as food addiction. To this end the Yale Food Addiction Scale was used (Flint et al, 2014). The participants’ clinical history as to whether or not they had suffered from depression was also taken into account.

      The results showed a significant relationship between the presence of depression and greater use of UV rays. Also demonstrated was a significant relationship between the abuse of UV rays and symptoms associated with eating disorders, particularly anorexia.

      As with other activities, the use of this type of service may be considered normal, except when control is lost and it becomes an addiction, that is to say it is being undertaken for its own sake, rather than for the benefits it may bring. Such behavioural addiction to tanning is called tanorexia. In this instance, the depressive symptoms appear to play a fundamental role in the formation or maintenance of the addiction to UVA rays, as if the individual attempts to ‘offset’ their state of mind by giving a ‘better’ image of themself to others.

      Previous research has reported significant relationships between food disorders and depressive symptoms, but in this instance the relationship is mediated by an addictive behaviour, such is the abuse of UVA rays.

      According to the conclusions of the study, consideration must be taken with individuals who abuse the use of UVA rays, since it may constitute depressive symptomatology and the suffering of anorexia.

      Despite these findings, and the health problems associated with skin cancer discussed earlier, people find it difficult to give up this type of habit, since the short-term benefits of a tanned skin mean any long-term health damage is underestimated.

      This type of attitude may also be witnessed in the undertaking of other unhealthy habits or those that entail long-term damage, where the consumer ‘assumes’ the risk, focussing on the short-term benefits, despite warnings from the authorities. For instance, for some years governments around the world have been trying to stop tobacco use. Furthermore, the authorities have had to ‘fight’ against the portrayal of this habit in films and the media where, in recent decades it was seen as socially accepted, despite the harmful effects on the health of the consumer and the people around them, in what is known as passive smoking (@CNPT_E, 2017) (See Illustration 12).

      Existing measures tend to act in a dissuasive manner by putting all kinds of obstacles in the way of its consumption, stopping short of prohibition. Its display is limited to certain specially designed areas, the price is increased, and images are included on the packs of the negative health effects. However, some governments have decided to take a step further and employ the same mechanisms that for years served to spread and encourage tobacco use - television advertising. But are anti-tobacco A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generatedadvertisements effective?

      Illustration 12. Tweet – Prohibition of Tobacco Advertising.

      [ The #EmpaquetadoNeutro removes the advertising from tobacco and helps to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Spain]

      This question has been addressed in research undertaken by the Department of Education, Seoul National University and the TESOL Department, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (South Korea); along with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University and the Department of Psychology, Jesuit University of Wheeling (USA) (Wilson et al., 2017).

      The study involved 58 university students who were split into two groups, the first group viewed two emotionally focussed anti-smoking advertisements, whilst the other group viewed two logical, non- emotional type anti- smoking advertisements. Before and after the viewings all the participants undertook three tests, one related to transformation processes, one to depressive symptoms, and the third regards self-esteem. The results showed no significant differences pre or post viewing, either for the emotional or logical advertising, in any of the variables evaluated, i.e. participants appeared to pay no attention to the information given to them about the harmful effects of tobacco usage.

      One of the limitations of the study is in the selection of the population chosen. Undoubtably the advertising is aimed at preventing young people from starting tobacco consumption, but since in many countries young people start smoking from the age of fourteen, a selection of participants from that age group should have been chosen instead of university students.

      Despite the above, it should be noted that the effects of advertising are mainly based on repetition of relevant advertisements, to the extent that the information is learned. Therefore, the fact that the advertisements were viewed only once would explain the insufficient effects upon behaviour towards smoking, self-esteem or depressive symptoms.

      In the specific case of COVID-19, and to the surprise of some, an unprecedented measure has been adopted, in the prohibition of all advertising regarding gambling. The idea is to prevent people who are spending a lot of time confined to their homes, becoming ‘hooked’ on gambling, which can lead not only to addiction, but also to economic ruin when monetary gambling is involved.

      Considering that there are other concerns in a time of health crisis, people may not consider the adoption of such measures to be a priority. However, the government has primarily undertaken them to prevent the negative economic consequences gambling can bring about, not only in the altering of people’s moods which can lead to major depressive disorder, but also economic ruin which may lead A screenshot of a newspaper Description automatically generatedto suicide.

      Illustration 13. Tweet – Prohibition of Gambling Advertising

      [Minister for Consumer Affairs, @garzon ‘’With regards gambling we have detected that there has been a growing incidence of online betting. That is why we have prohibited the advertising of gambling in any medium, except during the hours of 1am to 5am.”]

      Such is the importance in the early prevention of behavioural addictions, for, as time passes, it becomes even harder to ‘kick the habit’, and in this particular instance, the new addict would continue to play after lockdown. It is consequently important that such measures are adopted in order to prevent negative effects on the physical and mental health of these potential gamblers (-consummogob,2020) (See Illustration 13).

      Although such measures might be thought of as exaggerated or out of place, the reality is that our economic behaviour is governed by a multitude of internal and external variables. For example, one usually thinks about shopping in terms of prices. But how much are people willing to spend to buy things? This and other similar questions are dealt with by Consumer Psychology, a branch of study which analyses the behaviour of the individual when faced with varyingly complex economic decisions. The prototype for such investigations concern games of chance, that is, a situation where money may be won or lost dependent upon probabilities that the researcher manipulates.

      It has been demonstrated that there are some people who are conservative in their value judgements, whilst others take more risks. It has also been observed that these personal variables are modified when subjected to temporary or continued consumption of certain addictive substances.

      Based on this type of research, other variables, which may be implicated in whether an individual might assume lesser or greater economic costs are analysed, such as obesity. But are there differences in what an individual is willing to pay based on whether or