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Mental Health: Dominican Republic Faces Silent Pandemic


In the Dominican Republic, a study found that 4 out of 10 suffer from anxiety attacks due to the pandemic, which has impacted on mental health

3 tips for good mental health 1:29

(CNN Spanish) -

The feeling of hopelessness, uncertainty and disenchantment with life have been some of the symptoms of the silent pandemic, as some experts describe the impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on mental health.

“Just thinking about it makes her eyes water,” says a 29-year-old Dominican mother, whom we will call Luisa because she has asked us to protect her identity.

He revealed to us that he hit rock bottom and, in a moment of despair, saw death as the only way out of his problems.

Almost a year after the first case of covid-19 was detected in the Dominican Republic, Luisa has a fresh memory of how she has lived these months.

“It is not easy [for] one [to be] locked in four walls thinking.

Many ugly things that come to mind, "he described.

Those recurring thoughts cause the ability to manage impulses to be lost, according to psychiatrist Carmen Ramírez.

However, there are techniques to manage those negative and painful impulses and, thus, focus the energy on something positive that drives us to continue.

Ramírez recommends talking openly with close loved ones, writing and expressing those negative feelings.

«People can converse from well-being and also from discomfort.

Writing is a good option, telling what happens to me, not a suicide farewell letter, but telling what happens to me as if it were in a newspaper.

That will improve the emotions a bit.

Doing things that we like, for example: reading, listening to music, getting in contact with the sun, taking deep breaths, “suggests the psychiatrist.


According to the Pan American Health Organization, the American continent experiences "a mental health crisis" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Teleworking, the necessary physical distancing and confinement have increased the cases of anxiety, depression and even the number of suicides in some countries.

Four out of 10 Dominicans suffer anxiety attacks as a result of the pandemic

In the Dominican Republic, an investigation carried out by the Laboratory of Emotions, Health and Cyberpsychology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra found that four out of every 10 Dominicans suffer anxiety attacks as a result of the pandemic.

76% of these patients had never experienced this type of crisis.

The communicator Octavio Cabrera, 56, got up religiously every morning to present his program Hablando de todo, in Santo Domingo.

However, with the arrival of the pandemic in March, he was forced to take a hiatus.

«The first 15 days, everything in my life passed normal when I began to see the encerrona.

My mom, in El Seibo;

my brothers, one in Santiago, when I see that I can no longer go out I begin to notice that I am not sleeping, ”Cabrera said.

Faced with an uncertain future, she says she began to suffer from anxiety attacks.

He claims that he immediately sought professional help.

“When we don't see the end, when we don't see how far I have to push myself, it is a predictor of poor crisis management.

The problem of not having this crisis an expiration date has made us lengthen and has made us increase the probability that we will develop an anxiety problem, "explains psychiatrist Carmen Ramírez.

An excellent tool to beat anxiety

The World Health Organization estimates that about 1 billion people live with a mental disorder.

The Institute of Mental Health and Telepsychology estimated that the mental health of 300,000 Dominican families is in danger from the pandemic.

In Cabrera's case, the health crisis uncovered his anxiety.

"It seems that I had a trauma a long time ago and the confinement of the first ones uncovered that anxiety problem," says the communicator.

'I have faith in God that it will soon pass'

Meanwhile, Luisa does not lose faith to overcome this situation.

“I have faith in God that it will soon pass, put my mind to work [and] those thoughts go away.

I know that it is not normal to think that.

Maybe, I sure need help, but it is all this situation that has led me to that »he adds.

One of the great virtues of human beings, according to Dr. Ramírez, is the ability to adapt in times of crisis.

“In mental health it is called resilience.

No matter how bad the experience has been, no matter how many things we have lost, that [from] this something good can grow, from this we can get more fortified and better people, “says the specialist.

Days after our interview, Luisa informed us that she sought professional help and is currently under treatment with the support of a psychiatrist.

According to experts, one of the biggest problems we will face in 2021 will be mental health.

If you or someone you love is having a hard time, don't hesitate to seek help.

Please visit

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-02-20

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