Mental health amidst corona pandemic

Mental health has always been a taboo in  our part of the world. But it is essential to address it in the present situation where the entire world is facing a natural calamity.

By Dr Madiha Ata

The current pandemic is unique such that it is effectively impacting the mental health of entire world population and at the same time it is prohibiting them from reaching out to each other is terms of physical support.

Commonly arising mental health issues:

  1. Anxiety: Everyone who has any awareness of their surroundings is expected to suffer from anxiety of some sort during this time. The uncertainty of health, jobs, finances and the lockdown routine are all contributing factors. The anxiety may even lead to psychosomatic manifestation mimicking the symptoms of covid-19 itself.
  2. Depression: The seemingly endless isolation away from loved ones, the constant fear and the constant fear mongering by the media is enough to depress anyone at this point. It can additionally be expected more in people facing the loss of their loved ones alone due to this disease.
  3. Burnout: As the lock down extends over weeks and months the initial spirits are wavering and being replaced by exhaustion and burnout. Working from home is losing its charm as there is no concept of ‘going home for the day’. Meanwhile home makers are being overwhelmed by the additional responsibilities of members that are home all day long.
  4. Domestic abuse: The lack of outdoor activities along with financial worries and exhaustion is raising the cases of domestic violence amongst vulnerable households.
  5. Insomnia: The inability to sleep may present as a symptom of the other mental health conditions or as a separate entity. It can also contribute to worsening anxiety and depression.

Tips for improving mental health:

  1. Maintain a routine.
  2. Incorporate physical activity in your routine including exercise.
  3. Keep a time check on mainstream and social media. There is no need to follow the statistics like a live match score.
  4. Fulfil a life long dream which you never found time for before.
  5. Contribute to positive causes and organisations.
  6. Be empathic to yourself and others.
  7. Don’t be shy, seek professional help when the need arises!

The frontline workers are particularly vulnerable for suffering from mental health issues during these times, and will need support from all of us.

May 4, 2020

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