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Could Ukraine war and Covid-19 be increasing ‘doomsday anxiety’?

An expert has weighed in on the mental condition and how to manage it

06 April 2022 - 13:03 By Staff reporter
An expert says the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have created the perfect storm for 'doomsday anxiety'. Stock image.
An expert says the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have created the perfect storm for 'doomsday anxiety'. Stock image.
Image: 123RF

Are the Ukraine war and Covid-19 pandemic making you fearful or anxious about the world ending?

If your answer is “yes”, you may suffer from what an expert calls “doomsday anxiety”, a mental condition rooted in a phobia that includes worry or fear about the world ending, or the end of life as we know it.

According to the Daily Mail, doomsday anxiety is characterised by “chronic nightmares, an underlying feeling of fear and an obsession with the news or ‘doomscrolling’ through online media”, and is at its highest level as a result of the war and pandemic. 

An expert interviewed by the site, Aaron Surtees, explained that the anxiety is likely to affect parents, particularly mothers, more because of their concerns about how world events are affecting their children’s well-being.

The condition can be managed in seven steps, according to Surtees, which include accepting that bad things will happen in life, learning to manage doomscrolling, accepting uncertainty and fact-checking before panicking.

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