Impact on Mental Health during COVID19 Pandemic

Trishita Gupta - Author of this article
        Edited by Admin

It's been exactly an year since the lockdown in India due to the COVID19 Pandemic has been imposed. Let us see how COVID19 has given us problems unanticipated.

Coronavirus in earth form. COVID19 Pandemic

Why Mental Health Issues should be considered as a serious issue?

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people who suffer from mental disorder or behavioral disorder are around 450 million. Isn't that a huge number? So, if  you do not understand how big the number is, that is more than the entire population of the United States! And every year on an average, around a million people commit suicide. So, you can try to understand how serious the problem is. We are here to help you out to protect  yourself and your loved ones from such situations. To do that, we need to know what is the root cause of the problem and how to avoid it or treat it. 

Mental Health Issues - Causes

There are many causes for the nervous breakdown to occur, with most of them being due to the situations and circumstances we have undergone in our life where we experienced abuse of mental and physical nature. According to few experts, it is believed that the genetic material, family history, chemical imbalances in the brain either by birth or due to traumatic brain injury and many more numerous reasons. It can happen to any person regardless of age, gender and mental condition. 

But with the imposed lockdown, and self-isolation of many people in various countries other than their hometown, being away from family and friends, locked inside the cubicle and never coming out, there has seen a significant increase of emotional and mental stress among everyone. And the condition of patients with already existing mental illness has worsened. Children and normal patients have experienced even more stress. The kind of trauma they experience is because of their thoughts of fear of death, fear of the society, fear of being isolated and much more. 

Mental issues caused by Covid19 and its effects

Adding to this was the mental health issues faced by many people due to the fear of COVID19. For example, if a person coughs due to normal illness, or suffers from normal fever, they were being treated as 'untouchables'. Few families were forcefully being vacated from homes by the landlords or the owners of the house, fearing infection. This has a huge impact on the mental and emotional health of people who face those situations. We cannot ignore the fact that many people became jobless and homeless due to the Pandemic. There were people who have committed suicide because of loss of job and loss of money to survive, not knowing whom to ask for money or seek help to talk about their problems. With no one to talk to,  

Effects on Children

Children constitute around 28% of the word's population amounting to 2.2 Billion children with almost 16% belonging to the age group 10-19, according to UNICEF
The extent of the impact on children depends on various factors such as current educational status, having special needs, pre-existing mental health condition, being economically underprivileged and child being quarantined due to infection or fear of infection. In a preliminary survey conducted during the pandemic, it was revealed that younger children (3-6 years old) were more likely to manifest symptoms of clinginess and the fear of family members  being infected, rather than in the older children (6-18 years old). On the other hand, the older children were experiencing inattention and were persistently inquiring  regarding COVID19.

Effects on Patients

It has been observed that patients suffering from COVID19 besides developing physical ailments, also suffered from mental health issues as they were totally isolated and in some cases even the own family members refused to take them home even after they recovered from the virus attack. All of us, who have been following the news papers and the news magazines, must have known that the report published by the New York Times, 
revealed that the COVID19 patients experience severe psychotic symptoms even after recovering from the infection for the fear and isolation period. 

a girl with hand on her head depressed sitting in a chair alone.

Now the only question before us is....

How to cope up with such situations as a patient and also, How we as an individual can take care of our loved ones.  

The social media, media and the society as a group should come forward in educating the people in taking precautions while we serve the ones affected by the virus. Bringing right awareness in the society is much needed as there are several fears among the people.

It should be noted that the virus though is contagious, when we take extreme precautions, can avoid the transmission. Instead of completely leaving the patient alone in a closed room.
  • Try to place a glass door or a transparent barrier so that you can watch them and they can see you. Just your vision in front of their eyes gives them little happiness.
  • If you are the patient, try reading some novels or keep texting your friends and family and spend time with them virtually and feel good.
  • Do physical exercise and make yourself energetic.
  • Meditate - How to meditate - an expert guide
A girl in Meditation posture meditating in hills.
  • Eat greens and veggies which make you feel fresh.
  • Develop an hobby like painting or art and make your self occupied with some work.
  • Listen out to the patients and be their constant support system.
  • Rather than treating as untouchables, get properly sanitized after meeting them with full protection gear.
  • Do not let them feel alone.
  • Make frequent video calls and keep them diverted from loneliness and the disease.
  • Plan games which do not need physical contact with them.
  • If there is anyone living alone in your neighborhood, check on them if they are fine.
In the normal circumstances, to not let our loved ones suffer from depression, once a week, make it a routine to check up on how they are doing, what is going on in their lives. 
  • Just a 10 to 20 minutes video call or normal voice call every week would be enough.
  • visit your friends or family once in a while and make them feel comfortable with you.
  • Hangout with people now and then to socialize more.
  • Go to a park nearby or on morning walks, make friends in the neighborhood.
  • This gives you the comfort of having someone nearby whom you can rely on.
  • Always make it a point that you keep analyzing your mental health and also your loved ones.
  • Maintain a diary and write about your day in it. It will be your best friend that always listens to you.
An image for mental health with the text phone a friend.

How to overcome Mental Health Issues

Firstly, if you feel you are suffering with any mental disorders, do not fear of consulting a psychologist. Mental health is as important as physical health. It is always advised to seek out help from professionals in such situations. If in case, you fear of consulting a doctor in real, consult a psychologist using various online platforms. If you still feel, your identity might be revealed, you can always contact us and speak your heart out to us! 

We will always be there to listen to you and help you out overcome depression, anxiety, feeling of loneliness, etc. If you do not know whom to speak about your problems, we are always there for you.

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  1. Very much needed in these testing times!


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