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Sick and tired People are suffering from pandemic fatigue and are 'fed-up' of restrictions, psychiatrist says

"People who were very committed and rigidly adhering to the lockdown guidelines are, in my view, utterly and completely frustrated"

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Dr Patricia Casey

Dr Patricia Casey

Dr Patricia Casey

People are “fed up” of the ever-changing Covid restrictions and have pandemic fatigue, said a consultant psychiatrist. 

Restrictions were due to ease significantly on April 5th, but now it seems likely that the Government will take a phased approach at easing only a limited number of restrictions from April 12th.

Patricia Casey, a professor of psychiatry at the Department of Adult Psychiatry in UCD and a consultant psychiatrist in the Mater Hospital, said that people are “utterly and completely” frustrated that they are abiding by guidelines and seeing no change.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, she said: “I’m absolutely convinced that people are fed up of [restrictions] and most people have pandemic fatigue at the moment. People who were very committed and rigidly adhering to the lockdown guidelines are, in my view, utterly and completely frustrated.

“Many people are angry because they’re saying to themselves, ‘I’ve done everything. We were told at the beginning that this would be over in three months. We worked really hard at it; we deprived ourselves of everything that we were told to deprive ourselves of by the Government and here we are still in lockdown almost a year on,’” she continued.

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(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

Professor Casey added that people hoped that there would be a “greater reduction in restrictions” once the vaccine rollout began, but this does not seem to be the case.

She said: “People are now supposedly getting the vaccine but we’re looking at the vaccine rollout and saying, ‘This should be happening more quickly. This should be the beginning of the end of the lockdown.’

“And we were all hoping against hope that there would be a much greater reduction in restrictions after the Government’s comments in the next few days but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

“People are going to start wondering about the rollout. Why is it so slow? They’re going to look to our neighbours in the UK, who in less than two weeks – I think it’s 12 days’ time – will be able to meet other people.”

The psychiatrist revealed that more people than ever are being diagnosed with depression at her clinic than ever before due to pandemic restrictions.

“In my clinic there are people coming to me who are now tipping into depression who never were depressed before.

“Initially I didn’t think this was going to happen. I just thought that this was going to be the ordinary fed-upness that we are all feeling but in fact, some people are tipping into depression.

Professor Casey told listeners: “I've had several people referred with very severe OCD because people are so preoccupied by this pandemic that they can do nothing - several people have had to take time off work because they are so preoccupied with cleaning, sanitising, trying to read the research, trying to get their heads around it.

“I think when people are faced with no timelines [for] the easing of the restrictions, that people will begin to disobey them.”

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