• Arnel Borja Zaar
  • Malene Mose Holm
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
On the 31st of January the Danish government decided to terminate the COVID-19 regulations due to a recommendation from The Danish Ministry of Health. The ter-mination of the regulations was received by the Danish populace with mixed feel-ings for various reasons. One reason was that the regulations were part of the Danes' lives for two years and the termination was therefore cause for relief. Another that due to the fact that the infection rate was at its peak, which meant that the risk of getting infected was high. The ascending infection rate sparked an interest and curi-osity which led to the writing of this paper, regarding how people who have a fear of getting infected and/or infecting others would be affected by the termination of these regulations. This led to interest in how and if this would affect individuals diagnosed with OCD. Especially because some of the regulations had similarities with the symptomatology of OCD, such as a focus on hand sanitization. For these reasons the main purpose of this thesis is to get an understanding of how individuals diagnosed with OCD have experienced the termination of the COVID-19 regula-tions. To shed light upon this phenomenon the following problem statement was formulated: How can one understand how individuals diagnosed with OCD have experienced the termination of the COVID-19 regulations by using the method of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). To further understand this phenome-non, the following sub-questions were formulated: Which influences does the termi-nation of the regulations have on mental health among individuals with OCD? And to what degree does personality traits and coping strategies affect these individuals' management of the termination of the COVID-19 regulations?
The method chosen to collect empirical data was an online survey with qualitative questions and to analyse the responses of the participants the method of IPA was applied. By using IPA, the following themes were identified: Regulations, Mental Vulnerability, Psychological Diagnoses, Treatment, Personality Traits and Coping Strategies, Family and Uncertainty.
The conclusions of this thesis are as follows: The termination of the regulations have been experienced differently among the participants, where some have experi-enced relief, and some distress, while others have experienced relief and distress simultaneously. Furthermore, the treatment of these individuals has been challenged by the changing regulations, and the risk of getting infected by the virus. Some of the participants have experienced a higher level of distress which possibly led to medical treatment. Additionally, the participants have shown a higher level of the personality trait neuroticism and a lower level of extroversion which is consistent with earlier conducted studies. The personality traits appear to have negatively af-fected the way the participants have experienced and handled the termination of the regulations. In addition, it has been identified that individuals with a comorbid di-agnosis tend to use negative coping strategies. Finally, it has been identified that the participants have been influenced negatively by the uncertainty brought by the pan-demic and by the risk of infection which has caused worries concerning family members.
Given the unfamiliarity of the phenomenon and the lack of studies, further research is necessary to get a better understanding of how individuals diagnosed with OCD have experienced the termination of the COVID-19 regulations and how it has af-fected their mental health.
Publication date25 May 2022
Number of pages99
ID: 471325959