MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT OF COVID-19
The covid 19 pandemic occurs so suddenly and spreads unexpectedly in most countries. Its first outbreak occurred in Wuhan in 2019, and WHO declared it a pandemic in march 2020. In view of the immensity of the pandemic, a lockdown strategy was adopted globally. Covid 19 affects people’s lives significantly in many aspects. The unpredictability of the situation related to covid 19 resulted in numerous problems such as loneliness, social isolation, decreased social support, restricted access to basic services of life, increased online gambling among adults, no physical activity, and reduced family support, especially for older or vulnerable people. (1) Covid 19 has also impacted the mental health of individuals.
The recession in the economy as a result of covid 19 leads to financial constraints, unemployment, and poverty, therefore, affecting the physical and mental health of the individuals. All these economic conditions lead to mental health problems in healthy individuals and worsen the condition of mental health among individuals with pre-existing mental disorders. Worldwide lockdown affects people’s livelihood, increasing loneliness, depression, and anxiety. It also increases the cases of domestic violence and no escape from abusers. (2)
Mental health outcomes of COVID-19:
The mental burden of health care workers was pinnacle by facing the large-scale calamity, increasing number of confirmed and suspected cases, enhanced workload, devoid of personal safety equipment, negative thoughts, feeling of less support, and lack of particular drugs. It leads to anxiety, fear, and stigmatization of healthcare workers. They had a fear of disease transmission to their family and friends. It is important to provide advanced mental health facilities to healthcare providers in order to relieve their fears. (3)
Psychosocial impact and mental health concerns about the covid19 outbreak among the general population were at their peak. The general population had a fear of the contagiousness of disease, wide coverage by media, danger perception, and the biggest fear of unemployment. It also created anxiety and depression among the masses. It created fear and stigmatization among the general population who were under quarantine. (4)
Children and adolescents:
Companionship and closeness are really important for the development of the child and his or her mental growth. During covid19 pandemic, when quarantine was necessary, it created a separation barrier between children and their caregivers or parents, which created anxiety and mood disorders. Studies have shown that children who went through quarantine met the criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder. They tend to have suicidal thoughts in their adulthood. (5)
Ways to manage mental health conditions:
- It is important for us to manage our media consumption and the sources from which we are accessing the information in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
- Non-official information sources can increase panic and anxiety among the masses.
- Ensuring a daily exercise routine is essential in improving mental health.
- Despite the social distancing required, regular phone calls and videoconferencing with loved ones can also improve the mental health impact of covid19.
- It is also important for the government to take steps to take out the fear from the general population, and steps should be taken to provide the best care for its people. (6)
- Moreno, C., Wykes, T., Galderisi, S., Nordentoft, M., Crossley, N., Jones, N., Cannon, M., Correll, C. U., Byrne, L., Carr, S., Chen, E. Y. H., Gorwood, P., Johnson, S., Kärkkäinen, H., Krystal, J. H., Lee, J., Lieberman, J., López-Jaramillo, C., Männikkö, M., & Phillips, M. R. (2020). How mental health care should change as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(9). https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30307-2
- Kumar, A., & Nayar, K. R. (2020). COVID-19 and its mental health consequences. Journal of Mental Health, 30(1), 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1757052
- Talevi, D., Socci, V., Carai, M., Carnaghi, G., Faleri, S., Trebbi, E., Bernardo, A. di, Capelli, F., & Pacitti, F. (2020). Mental health outcomes of the CoViD-19 pandemic. Rivista Di Psichiatria, 55(3), 137–144. https://www.rivistadipsichiatria.it/archivio/3382/articoli/33569
- Nochaiwong, S., Ruengorn, C., Awiphan, R., Ruanta, Y., Boonchieng, W., Nanta, S., Kowatcharakul, W., Pumpaisalchai, W., Kanjanarat, P., Mongkhon, P., Thavorn, K., Hutton, B., Wongpakaran, N., & Wongpakaran, T. (2020). Mental health circumstances among health care workers and the general public under the pandemic situation of COVID-19 (HOME-COVID-19). Medicine, 99(26), e20751. https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000020751
- Liu, J. J., Bao, Y., Huang, X., Shi, J., & Lu, L. (2020). Mental health considerations for children quarantined because of COVID-19. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30096-1
- Usher, K., Durkin, J., & Bhullar, N. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic and mental health impacts. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 29(3). https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12726