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Local psychologist explains potential cause of outbursts over face mask requests

How social distancing could impact mental health.

CLEVELAND — We’ve all seen viral videos of customers acting out over being asked to wear a face mask in public. 3News asked Dr. Kathryn Mancini, a MetroHealth Psychologist about the frequency of cases.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see more irritability and more sensitivity during this time especially given the number of triggers people are experiencing during this time,” says Dr. Mancini.

Dr. Mancini says the pandemic has forced us to operate in a new normal that can be a hard adjustment for a lot of people.

“Social isolation in general leads to things like loneliness, difficulties with work, difficulties with schooling, difficulties with relationships and some for people this can lead to more serious problems like anxiety or depression,” says Dr. Mancini.

So what can you do if you feel yourself on the verge of an outburst? Dr. Mancini says take a deep breath and pause.

“Name it, so really name what’s going on. Name the feeling, if you’re feeling tired or frustrated or even just fed up with what’s going on, just name what’s going on,” says Dr. Mancini.

Dr. Mancini goes on to say its important you recognize the role you play in the situation and quickly look for an alternative solution instead of an outburst.

“Just to tune in with yourself, catch yourself before it gets worse. Take that moment and say ‘whoa this got really out of hand, I need to take a step back’,” says Dr. Mancini.

It’s also recommends you talk with a professional counselor or psychologist if possible to help manage responses to social interactions that can trigger an outburst.

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