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Many French people plunged into a state of deep discomfort linked to confinement, coronavirus and terrorism. (© AFP / Archives / CHRISTOPHE SIMON)

The inability to see the end of the tunnel, loneliness, worry at the professional level. The coronavirus, confinement, and also the terrorism which continues to strike, plunge many French people into deep discomfort.

Discomfort, depression and also depression are gaining ground. The depressive syndromes even doubled in a few weeks.

“What’s hard is the accumulation. There have been too many things this year, ”says Marie, 43. This Parisian, mother of two, feels that she is “on the verge of rocking”. “It is gaining momentum on the return from the All Saints holidays” with the reconfinement, the terrorist assassination of Professor Samuel Paty, the Nice attack.

With her husband, a general practitioner, she follows the Covid figures in an “almost obsessive” manner. But she tries at home to talk only about positive things, otherwise she feels ready to “screw up.” This senior executive has for ten days “struggling to work, to find pleasure.”

Everything is hard work: taking care of the children, celebrating birthdays, organizing Skype with friends. I have a feeling of suffocation

MarriedParisian mother of two children

Twice as many people with depression

Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran observed that mental health had “significantly deteriorated”. Between late September and early November, the number of people in a state of depression has doubled, from 10 to 21% according to Public Health France.

Already during the first confinement and the months that followed, the consumption of anxiolytics and sleeping pills increased, with nearly 1.6 million additional treatments delivered in 6 months compared to the foreseeable level.

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The consumption of anxiolytics and sleeping pills has increased in France since the first confinement. (© AFP / Archives / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

“We want to avoid a third wave, who would be a wave of mental health ”, Said Olivier Véran during a visit to“ Fil santé jeunes ”, a listening device for 12-25 year olds. Students are particularly affected.

On the forum of this platform, precisely, a call for help: “I will soon be 21 years old and the time I have spent on earth already seems too long”. The confinement “has only made matters worse, my future, if I have one, is more than uncertain. ”

I realize how lonely I am, absolutely no one is hearing from me. The worst thing is that I had to go back to my parents.

Anonymous testimonial on the “Fil santé Jeune” forum

Changeover at the start of the school year

If the children seem more protected, Julie saw his 10 year old daughter sink. “When her day center closed during the holidays because the director had the Covid, I started to see tics appear”, says the mother of the family.

But the change took place on the day of the start of the school year, marked by the wearing of the mask for schoolchildren and the tribute to Samuel Paty. That same evening, the little girl did an anxiety attack : “We’re not going to get out of this.” Her tics got worse and she triggered “something like Tourette’s syndrome”.

The usually calm child began to insult his mother, to make incoherent words, to shout in his room. She is now followed by a psychologist and will consult a neurologist. “The context, it made him twist,” describes Julie.

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Homage to Samuel Paty and wearing a mask at school: for Julie’s 10-year-old daughter, everything changed when the school year started. (© DG / News Seine-Saint-Denis)

Loneliness and suicidal thoughts

The Red Cross receives approximately 300 calls per day, three times more than a year ago. Words keep coming back. Rosine Duhamel, head of the psychological support center, noted a few words from callers, testifying to a loneliness which weighs heavily on many.

I didn’t want to relive confinement. […] I don’t see the end of it, I don’t know if things will come back as before one day and that scares me terribly. Silence, when you are alone, is like a noise.

Testimonies of anonymous callers to the Red Cross

On another line, Suicide Listen, a man with respiratory failure shared his thoughts of suicide. “I’ve been drinking more and more since confinement. I disgust myself ”. “Terrorized” at the idea of ​​catching the Covid, he no longer goes out. “What’s the point of continuing like this?” He asked.

“With repetition and duration, the resources to adapt are exhausted”, explains Rosine Duhamel. “And when the defense mechanisms break down, you risk falling into a depressed state. This is what we see today ”.

Source: © 2020 AFP