Phobias that lead to fear of going to school, not to leave the house, constantly washing hands. Or to the so-called ‘counterphobic’ behaviors, i.e. adopting attitudes of ‘defiance’ towards what terrifies, doing what should not be done: behaving as if the coronavirus did not exist without using precautions. Increasing disorders that accompany the growth of more normal fears: more than 70% of children fear, in fact, of being able to infect their loved ones. The picture is drawn by Adelia Lucattini, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (Spi) during the online meeting “The Covid impact on adolescents psychological implications and clinical experience”.
“There are no official statistics – she explains – but clinical observation tells us that both phobias and fears have significantly increased”, says the expert, underlining that these are very different situations.
As for the ‘normal’ fears “there is an epidemic increase. There is the fear of being infected, of being able to get sick but, above all, of making family members sick. A fear that we encounter, at least in 70% of adolescents”. Phobias, on the other hand, are “very precise psychopathological forms that we see when a very great fear is shifted to something real. We find it in the many children who do not want to leave the house, who no longer want to go to school in the presence: they are not afraid to go to school, in reality, they fear the disease but are unable to express it by pouring the problem onto a real thing they do “.