Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Coronavirus: 'Quarantine could drive me back into depression'

Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson Image copyright Birgitta Nilsson
Image caption Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson said she struggled during the four-month lockdown

A student visiting her mother in Spain fears she will relapse into depression on her return to Scotland following the reintroduction of quarantine for travellers from the country.

Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson, 28, said she struggled during the four-month lockdown and could not do another two week-stint in her Edinburgh home.

She said she felt anxious when the rule change was announced on Saturday.

The PhD student is currently staying with her mother in Mallorca.

Ms Gavrilovic Nilsson, who only moved to the capital in January, suffered waves of depression during the lockdown.

"I live on my own and had only moved to Edinburgh so had no local friends," she said.

"During the lockdown, it was like I was numb and had no feelings. I did not want to talk much and deep depressions would come on suddenly, it was extremely hard.

"I was going insane and needed to get out of my flat. It was very isolating and lonely. I have suffered from depression before, it never goes away, but the lockdown triggered the old feelings again and I could feel them coming back."

Ms Gavrilovic Nilsson said she went to visit her mother Birgitta, 52, in Mallorca as soon as the lockdown restrictions began to ease and flights resumed.

Image copyright Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson
Image caption Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson is currently in Mallorca visiting her mother Birgitta

She said: "I am very close to my mother and hadn't seen her since Christmas. I grew up in Spain and I thought if I could visit my family it would help me recover from the lockdown isolation.

"The lockdown affected me badly so it was great to be home with my mother and brother but I'm still not fully recovered yet.

"So when I heard on Saturday that Scotland was imposing a quarantine I felt devastated and anxious because I don't know how I'm going to cope.

"It's not just another 14 days for me, its much more than that for me with mental health issues."

Image copyright Mirjana Gavrilovic Nilsson
Image caption Ms Gavrilovic Nilsson's flight home from Mallorca is booked for 4 August

Ms Gavrilovic Nilsson's flight home is booked for 4 August. She said she cannot postpone the date as she has coursework to do and no extra money for a new flight.

She said: "For the government to impose the rules at such short notice is ill-founded and should not have happened.

"I only went because I wouldn't have to quarantine on return. I waited specifically for the rules to be changed because I knew if I had to do that (self-isolate) my psyche would plummet into an even deeper depression.

"So many people will suffer from this, financially, mentally, emotionally, physically and socially."

She added the infection rate was much lower on the island of Mallorca than the rest of Spain so hoped the government would lift the restrictions by the time of her flight home.

Scotland lifted the 14-day rule last week, but brought it back on Saturday along with the rest of the UK due to a rise in coronavirus cases in Spain.

The Scottish government's justice secretary Humza Yousaf said the decision had been taken to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article you can visit the BBC Action Line here.