Know more about Cabin Fever, psychological health threat amid pandemic

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UNAIR NEWS – Covid-19 pandemic and PSBB policy from the government make everyone isolate themselves and limit outdoor activities. It is intended to prevent the spread of the virus so it will not spread even worse. But on the other hand, the community is also facing with the threat of psychological health due to self-isolation, which is often called cabin fever.

Cabin fever is defined as a feeling of anxiety due to being stuck or isolated in a place for a long time. A mental health specialist and an alumnus of UNAIR dr. Hafid Algristian, Sp.KJ. revealed that cabin fever is very likely experienced by most people during this pandemic.

“Not everyone knows about the symptoms. But when you do, maybe some of us will realize we already show cabin fever symptoms,” said Dr. Hafid in a discussion via zoom held by FK UNAIR and Meniscus on Friday, May 22, 2020.

Cabin fever is neither a diagnosis nor a syndrome, it can be cured through stress management. Therefore, cabin fever symptoms do not need medication. Symptoms generally occur when someone experiences sensory deprivation due to sudden limited socialization.

It often causes hallucinations. “We may have been alone then suddenly remembering the memories of the past, as if it is talking to us. Actually it is not a serious thing. But it can be categorized as a syndrome if we enjoy it, then memory becomes the personification of a character we create. ” he said.

According to Dr. Hafid, there are five common symptoms shown in patients with cabin fever. First symptom is demotivation. People who suffer from demotivation will usually feel hopeless, empty, and lose empathy. In this period, it is better if we do not provide motivation or positive input because it will be difficult to be accepted by sufferers.

The second is cognitive symptom, concentration problems or difficulty in focusing which makes a person unproductive. Third symptom is insomnia-parasomnia which is disturbance of sleep or sleep walking. Fourth, psychomotor symptoms or energy disturbances. It can be in the form of excessive energy that makes people sensitive or lack of energy. The fifth symptom is the symptoms of autonomic or bowel obstruction or urination.

“Because cabin fever is a collection of symptoms, so a person must experience some of the symptoms to be called having cabin fever. It must also be followed by a history of sensory deprivation and motor restrictions. ” he said.

dr. Hafid also commented on the phenomenon of panic buying and people’s ignorance during PSBB policy. This phenomenon may be a symptom of cabin fever, but generally it is triggered by boredom or ‘revenge’ due to social restrictions that are too long.

“Therefore, we should develop creative ways of thinking, communication, finding solutions, as well as sharing constructive information. So we will not feel trapped and feel the pressure during quarantine that will continue for some reason. ” he concluded. (*)

Author: Intang Arifia
Editor: Feri Fenoria

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