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Curbing Hibernation Anger During a Pandemic
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
Tenafly, NJ
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell

The coronavirus is spreading all over the world. In the US, it has killed over 90,000 Americans. Projections are that it will go over 100,000 and these estimates do not give us reason to believe that it will quickly disappear.

Stopping the virus, health experts have advised us, is a matter of practicing social distancing and remaining indoors unless absolutely necessary. How many of us want to be ordered to remain indoors? Therein lies one of the problems; hibernation anger.

Bears may regularly hibernate, but humans don't. We rale against the sense of injustice, any petty remarks, the lack of space and the feeling of being a prisoner in our own homes. Those you love and with whom you may live, may not be so loveable when it comes to Week 3 of a stay-at-home order. Stress begins to build.

The sense of being trapped, of being stopped from going out and leading your life as you would wish or from seeing your friends becomes more difficult with each day. You can't engage in the wonderful, casual social relationships that you enjoy. Even going to work, if you haven't lost your job, is impossible and it all causes anger to build up.

Resentment builds slowly as you feel it's "not fair." Why should you have to give up your right to enjoy life? Even the reason that we must isolate ourselves to save both our lives and that of others begins to wear thin.

We are social, active creatures and once we are forced to become asocial, just like an animal in a cage, we become angry.


What Are the Signs of Hibernation Anger?


            Knowing the signs can help you to recognize and remediate them. You will not become the victim of hibernation once you decide to act against it.


1.Sleep disturbance may manifest itself. You may find you sleep not because you're tired but because you want to escape from the current situation. Instead of sleeping to escape, do simple exercises like walking in place to help keep your immune system in good shape.

2.Changes in eating. Now you're beginning to eat mindlessly as though it's a substitution for the activities you miss. In addition, snacks are high in carbohydrates that can help to raise your mood. Make sure you stock up on healthy snacks, if you need to snack.

3.Fear. You believe that everything is spinning out of control and you don't know what to do about it. In fact, you might find yourself becoming startled and jumpy. Try a simple exercise here. Talk to yourself and say, "It's ok, you're going to be fine. Just relax." Say it several times and breathe slowly as you do.

4.Irritability. Again, help yourself to keep engaged in some activity that you enjoy. If you have a hobby, try to distract yourself so you can calm down. Whenever possible, try to count to five before you snap at someone. Simple but effective.

5.Depression. Music is something that can help and, if you are so inclined, begin to dance. It's two things in one; exercise and mood elevation.


These are difficult times and there will be difficult ones in the future, too. Develop your own ways now to help yourself in the future. You may be amazed how effective you can be.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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