Psychological Impact of COVID-19
The massive impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has put lots of burden on individual’s wellbeing and mental health along with socioeconomic burden. Consequently, many have been feeling overwhelming negative emotions (anxiety, fear…) and perplexed. Due to continuing lockdown (full, partial or with limited restrictions) and social distance, fear & uncertainty one does not know how to manage all alone to unburden.
Humans are essentially social beings. Even in the era of Smartphone, we love connecting personally with our friends and family members. Yet, we have seen time and again that those who fail to do so, suffer from loneliness, anxiety, depression etc.
People have a higher chance of mentally breaking down due to a lack of social support and communication than their failure in career and relationships.
Sharing with someone will help you to regain positive emotions.
Mental Health Crisis: Side-effect of COVID-19
Since our emotional and social needs are pivotal to our existence- more so in challenging times, socially distancing from others can be an overwhelming experience for many of us.
Throughout history, we have stayed together, discussed problems, and found inclusive solutions. It has given rise to a social structure. This deep-ingrained, evolutionary habit of togetherness has helped our communities to thrive across the cities, towns, and villages. But, when the structure suddenly collapses, there is a high risk of panic and uncertainty settling in.
Mental health always follows a crisis. Geographically small scale calamities like tsunami, hurricanes, and earthquakes are so distressing to experience that it requires crisis intervention. Likewise, riots and protests also have similar effects on humanity.
The current generation of people living on the planet had not faced a disease outbreak on such a large scale before COVID-19. It is the first epidemic that the country is witnessing after a century. So, our coping mechanisms aren't equipped well to face the mental challenges that the virus has inflicted on us. And more so than ever, we need to be prepared for a crisis intervention of such an epidemic scale.
Those Affected the Most During COVID-19
Children and youth are highly perceptive of their environment. Even small scale problems can upset them. It needs no imagination of what a horrifying picture a pandemic crisis can create within their formative mind.
Apart from that, the pandemic has created many personal problems for them. The cancellation of exams, sudden change in teaching mode, and erratic learning schedule are a few of them. It causes students to be more vulnerable to mental health issues than any other age group.
Suicidal thoughts and reckless behaviours are commonly seen among them too. So, it is vital to keep their stress level at bay. The family members also need to support them in this time of crisis.
Not only communication problems but lack of financial security also brought on tumultuous psychological stress. The small business owners are bearing the grunt of the falling economy. Salaried individuals are facing job losses and salary cuts. A large percentage of the population is feeling hopeless and out of control.
Alarming financial crunch and a vulnerable market are creating panic among the people. No work post lockdown has also pushed many to take drastic measures in their life. Such social and lifestyle changes can also cause extreme mental strain.
This sense of future uncertainty is forcing many to ignore their mental wellbeing. And as a result, feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed has become the new normal.
What is the way forward?
It is normal to feel depressed, lonely, and afraid during times of crisis. But what is not normal is to hold it back. Talking to loved ones- family members, friends are essential. In case, there is no one to talk to, Snehi can help.
We, at Snehi, are working tirelessly for 25 years to help people cope with mental trauma, depression, sadness, confusion, anxiety, guilt or any feeling of lack. Besides, we are actively involved in spreading awareness about mental health throughout the country.
Currently, our biggest challenge is to save the future of India- those who are mentally vulnerable in the face of the pandemic. So, we are providing free telephonic counselling to everyone who needs help to deal with stress, anxiety or just want to talk. Remember, we are just a phone call away!
Spreading awareness about mental health is the need of the hour. The coronavirus has shown us the importance of physical hygiene like washing hands. But, what remains to be discussed is the necessity to maintain mental hygiene to have wellbeing and positive mental health.
Focusing on psychological problems is not possible without the support of an empathizing society. The community needs to come forward and be accepting. And hopefully, together we will win the pandemic of mental health too.