After the night

Publish date 08-07-2022

by Gabriella Delpero

The Budget Commission of the Chamber last February 16 examined the so-called "Psychologist Bonus", an economic contribution (equal to 600 euros per person, payable in compliance with specific requirements and usable only when a specific implementing decree is issued) , intended to help citizens in difficulty to meet the costs of psychotherapeutic treatment.

In fact, the text clearly recognizes the current increase "in the conditions of depression, anxiety, stress and psychological fragility caused by the pandemic and the socio-economic crisis". And since the catastrophic effects of the pandemic have been collective, global - that is, they have spared no one - the bonus should be made available to people of all ages, therefore also to children and teenagers.

This is good news: first of all because at least it recognizes on an official level the existence of a concrete malaise that is clearly visible to all of us in everyday life, and then because it would seem to lay the foundations for trying to fill a therapeutic void that cannot surrender to nothing. We hope. After the most acute phase of the emergency, in fact, the problem arises of the perception of a closure of the future and the lack of hope.

Too many children and adolescents today think and live as "still", they are as if blocked and closed in their little world, flattened on the present and without a future prospect that reaches at least a week. Above all, many have lost any idea of ​​belonging to a community, nor do they seem able to share their desires or problems with others.
On their horizon there is often a tendency to exasperated individualism, in which thoughts wrap around themselves and rotate endlessly around their weakness without glimpsing a way out, like a fly that continues to bump into a glass without finding a crack that restores her freedom.

And unfortunately, individualism often goes hand in hand with the loss of identity. Yet the only possible fate after a violent trauma such as that of a pandemic is certainly not only the disintegration produced by uncontrollable anguish. On the contrary, we can open insights into very different scenarios.
Traumas, defeats, difficulties, when they are overcome and wisely reworked, can in fact allow luminous and promising horizons to appear.

Albert Einstein argued that: "Creativity is born from anguish as the day comes from the dark night". It is certainly not an easy step, but it brings with it the possibility of a transformation, of a change.
Therefore, the awareness (and the firm decision, hopefully!) Is welcome that it is fundamental and urgent to use a lot of energy and economic, professional and human resources to heal as many people as possible also on a psychological level. It's a challenge.

A sixteen-year-old girl, the only child of a couple separated for some years now, was discharged a few days ago after a long hospital stay due to a depressive episode in which she has repeatedly threatened to commit suicide.

Talking about her experience in the hospital, she talks about the "special" relationship she managed to create with her therapist and often mentions the words and gestures of other adolescents hospitalized in the same ward. She has formed bonds with them that she hesitates to call "friendship", but that made her feel part of a whole.

Listening to the confidences and letting herself be touched by the sadness of the others, by their most uncomfortable feelings, by their difficult experiences, she discovered that she was not alone, she learned not to run away from her own suffering, to get out of her own enclosure and look out onto the world. You never save yourself alone.

Gabriella Delpero
NP March 2022

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