The country’s state of mind following the referendum is redolent of how we might have felt many years ago at a time of civil war – families divided, angry outpouring of feelings towards our neighbours, intolerance of other people’s ideas, anger towards minorities and personal behaviour not seen in my lifetime. This has led to an increase in uncertainty about our future as a country, the future of our communities, uncertainty about employment and uncertainty about our finances – personal and national. These experiences are fertile ground for anxiety and depression amongst the general population but particularly amongst those most likely to be adversely affected by an uncertain future – children, young people. I have also seen an upsurge in these symptoms especially amongst vulnerable populations e.g. those in or associated with financial services, those working for multinationals, those working for European employers and those working in science and research – all areas of employment with many people and increasingly now patients from other European countries. All these characteristics are especially well represented in the Thames Valley economy. The overwhelming theme at the moment is uncertainty and a lack of control over our individual and collective futures compounded by the machinations of the political classes. The likely effect is to cause an increase in background anxiety, poor sleep, poor appetite and feelings of despondency and sadness. These symptoms are leading to an increase in consultations in GP surgeries, counselling services and with all types of mental health professional including psychiatrists. These are uncertain times for certain.
Dr John Wilkins, Consultant Psychiatrist is commenting on an article in the London Evening Standard http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-anxiety-brings-queue-of-patients-for-psychiatrists-a3292746.html