People's behaviour in lockdown has the potential to change for the worse, according to psychologists.
Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer of psychology Dr Rita Csako says clinical literature addressing how people behave in restrictive conditions, similar to a lockdown, gives us an idea of how people may react in the coming days and weeks.
"We know the risk of family violence significantly increases in situations like that, so that's one thing that we need to be very aware of and encourage people to keep themselves safe," Csako said.
"The reality is when people are squeezed into small spaces, violence is triggered by very minimal things.
"You don't need to do a big thing to trigger a violent response if someone is already on edge or has some violent tendencies."
Concerning isolation, Csako said there was a risk people could develop symptoms of anxiety and depression through becoming physically and socially isolated.
Now over a week into the national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Csako accepted there was little research which pointed to how people's behaviour would progress over the remaining time in lockdown.
In her opinion, Csako said people's behavioural progression would depend on the measures each person put in place to maintain some level of normalcy.
Csako, who started with AUT in 2014, said exercise and maintaining simple routine was proven to relieve stress brought on by lockdown-like situations.
"Even basic things like hygiene, like washing your hair or being tidy, it has an impact on your mood and anxiety."
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Kerikeri clinical psychologist Tracy Wakeford, who operated her practice MindMe , has been conducting online sessions with her clients since the lockdown was imposed.
Wakeford, who was born in Whangārei and had worked in Northland mental health for over 20 years, said she had noticed a lot of uncertainty and anxiety due to the lockdown and Covid-19.
"There's that kind of uniqueness of the first week where it feels like a bit of a holiday, but I guess now people are starting to have the realisation that they've got little access to all the things they're used to, they are worried if they're going to have a job at the end of this."
While she echoed Csako's comments regarding a lack of research, Wakeford said different people would have different reactions to the lockdown whether that be through anxiety, anger or positivity.
As Northland was a region with many isolated communities, Wakeford said people accustomed to isolation may be better placed to deal with the effects of the lockdown.
"A lot of those places don't have cellphone coverage, people get used to managing with their little community that they have and making ends meet, which is something we take for granted."
Wakeford encouraged anyone struggling to continue routine through things like diet and exercise, as it would help their transition back to normal life when the lockdown ended.
Where to go for help or more information:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz