- Groups of mothers in Massachusetts and New Jersey have organized cryotherapy groups to help relieve stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Experts say that cry therapy can help reduce tension, frustration and anger.
- Experts note, however, that screaming therapy is not a long-term solution to mental health problems.
Many parents are tired, frustrated and just angry about the COVID-19 pandemic after 2 years of being stuck isolated with restless children.
The restrictions, the masks and the test are enough to make you want to scream.
So those are some parents. And it feels good.
They swear it helps, and scientists may not disagree.
“Screaming is a natural and intuitive way for your body to release emotions, ie. peace / rage. It takes your sympathetic nervous system to the extreme, and there is really no other place to go ‘down’ from there than into a relaxing reaction. ” Sarah Harmona Massachusetts-authorized therapist and founder of The School of MOM, Healthline said.
Harmon said she is the founder of “primal mom scream,” which brought mothers together during the first year of the pandemic and led them to hair-raising cries.
Harmon said the sessions allowed mothers to vent trapped pandemic rage and to bond with each other when ties to strangers were discouraged.
“Another healing part of the cry is the community component,” Harmon said. “It’s so reassuring and healing to be in a shared emotion – especially a taboo as anger – with others who have gone through what you have and to have full permission to feel and express what you are feeling.”
Primal scream therapy took off in the early 1970s, with celebrities such as musician John Lennon and actor James Earl Jones becoming big proponents.
The therapy was based on “The Primal Scream”, a book by Arthur Janov, an American psychotherapist who claimed that neurosis is caused by the suppressed pain from childhood trauma. He said that pain could be released through a basic experience and response to the emotions: to scream.
“The basic premise behind scream therapy is the release of endorphins, a chemical released by the body that reduces stress,” he said. Evona L. Smitha family nurse and physician in nursing in Louisiana who has written books to help children cope with the pandemic.
“Simply put, endorphins interact with receptors in the brain that produce a positive emotion in the body,” Smith told Healthline. “Although cry therapy can trigger the release of endorphins and in turn reduce stress, there are less strenuous ways to deal with stress during the pandemic.”
The group in New Jersey was organized by Jessica Kline, the publisher of Macaroni KID Clifton-Montclair.
Kline told CBS News she has often felt overwhelmed and isolated. When the pandemic started, she had three children under the age of 6 at home.
“My house felt narrow; I felt the walls fall over me, ”she said. “And I just felt like there was no place to go.”
“I had a 6-month-old on my hip, I had a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old who were in kindergarten so no one was in school,” Kline added. “And it was insane to keep them entertained all day while changing diapers and breastfeeding.”
ONE Pew Research study as of October 2020, reported that 27 percent of American mothers with children under the age of 18 felt that the best scheme for them would be not to work for pay at all. That was an increase from 19 percent the year before.
The proportion of mothers who said it was best for them to work full-time dropped from 51 percent to 44 percent during that time period.
“I think American / Western culture has significantly underestimated the impact of the pandemic on humans,” Alexandra Cromeran authorized consultant with Thriveworks in Richmond, Virginia, told Healthline.
“Culture has shifted to see the pandemic as normal, and there is a very consistent push in society for things to return to normal,” she explained. “But things are not normal and people are forced to operate, continue to work, live, etc. under the false paradigm. It creates a certain cognitive dissonance that can directly raise levels of stress.”
“For example, if we are forced to return to personal work and are told that it is ‘safe and fine’, even when we do not believe it, it will trigger the fight-or-flight reaction in the body”, added Cromer.
The restrictive circumstances can make people want to scream.
But that may not be the best idea for long-term therapy, Cromer noted.
“Long-term triggering of the sympathetic nervous system can cause serious long-term health complications, including but not limited to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol and insomnia,” she said. “There is no evidence to support this as therapy, and therefore we should be careful to see it as something that may be therapeutic, but which in itself is not considered curative or part of therapy.”
Alyssa Scolarian authorized counselor in New Jersey, told Healthline that there are certainly short-term benefits to cry therapy, but ultimately people will have to turn to more sustainable methods of dealing with their COVID-19 stress.
“It helps to scream your frustrations. Think of the old saying, ‘Better out than in,'” Scolari said. that, whether you’re screaming in your pillow or airing out with a group of friends.
“That said, it can certainly be hard on your throat to scream regularly, and there are other ways to vent your frustrations,” she added. “Some really fun, anger-relieving activities may include going to an ax-throwing facility, visiting an ‘angry room’ where you can pay to break dishes and glasses, or embark on an activity like boxing or jiujitsu.”
Scolari said the most important thing is to maintain human connection.
“Set up regular virtual meetings with your friends and family to avoid being withdrawn and isolated,” she said. “Other ways to deal with COVID-19 demons include taking time to get outside and absorb some vitamin D, take deliberate detoxifications from your phone / technology, keep your work from home separate from the rest of your home, and try to process your frustrations through journaling or talking to a therapist. ”