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Will COVID create phobias? Local experts weigh in

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- Local psychology experts told 12 News it is too early to tell whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic has created any phobias or mental health disorders.

Binghamton University Psychology Professor Dr. Meredith E. Coles said given the circumstances of the pandemic, the way people are reacting is not necessarily a sign of phobia or disorder.

“It’s similar to having a traumatic event. When people have traumas we want to keep an eye on them and make sure they are okay, But sometimes we go a little overboard,” she said. “People are a lot more resilient than we think they are.”

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Art Frenze said, that some people with agoraphobia may have experienced some relief from the pandemic while people who may have a phobia of getting sick were more put off at the start of the pandemic.

However, both Dr. Coles and Dr. Frenze said for many people, things will settle down as the world tries to get back to normal.

Dr. Coles told 12 News that there is research that is going on linking the relationship between COVID and mental health. She said that if anxiety is getting in the way of living your life, then you should find someone to talk to about it.