How pandemic affect mental Health?

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC ON MENTAL HEALTH? 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH IN LOCKDOWN

Health issuess

 

Before getting started, I want you to close your eyes and answer these questions:

  • Do you feel lonely, depressed, and helpless?
  • Do you have mood swings?
  • Do you feel a dramatic change in sleeping and eating habits?
  • Do you experience heightened anxiety, fear, and worry?

If your answer to these questions is yes, probably you are facing mental health problems in this pandemic. In this article, I will discuss the impact of a pandemic on mental health and some tips to improve mental health.

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

In December 2019, SARS COV-2 was first identified in Wuhan, China. WHO declared it pandemic on 12 March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected us physically, but it also influenced our economic, social, and mental state.  As we don’t have any vaccine and a lot of information regarding this new virus, preventive measures are the best step to be taken like social distancing.

No one was prepared for this deadly pandemic. Now people are experiencing anxiety, fear of getting ill, and losing their loved ones. Schools are closed. People are at home. They have no one to talk to and are experiencing loneliness. They are facing a financial crisis. Day by day, cases are increasing, and people are becoming hopeless. Whether this pandemic will end, and life will go back to normal or not? All of these factors are leading to mental health problems. In the lockdown, excessive buying of foodstuff/groceries due to the fear of not getting enough food indicates the negative impacts of a pandemic on mental health.

The effect of the pandemic on mental health emerges differently in different people according to their social, economic, and health conditions. The more the people facing a shortage of food, the more they become anxious and vice versa.

There are negative impacts on the mental health of students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are anxious because of the uncertainty of exams, the burden of online classes, and the fear of not completing their degree in time. Health care professionals are more anxious than any other professionals due to the high risk of catching the virus.

 

 

IMPACT OF COVID-19 on mental Health

 

 

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC ON MENTAL HEALTH IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS:

In this pandemic, not only the general public is affected, but also the mental health of health care professionals is being affected. Health Care professionals reported insomnia, anxiety, depression, and distress. Health care professionals are at greater risk of developing exposure to COVID- 19.

They are afraid that they might spread the virus to their families. They are working restlessly due to the high caseload. They are anxious about not receiving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There is no proper treatment, and they were unprepared for such an infectious outbreak. They are uncertain of dealing with patients who are not cooperating and are not ready to be quarantine. They are not getting enough rest to work actively.

Because of all these factors, HCP’s are experiencing anxiety and stress. Old age people and people with pre-existing health conditions are feeling lonely and depressed.

MENTAL HEALTH STATISTICS:

A survey in May 2020 was carried out in the USA which revealed:

  • 56% of respondents reported that not knowing when this pandemic will end causes anxiety.
  • 40% of respondents were anxious about their family that their family members may develop an infection.
  • 35% of respondents were experiencing fear of contagion.
  • 25% of respondents were experiencing anxiety and depression due to isolation.
  • 28% of respondents were experiencing anxiety due to financial issues
  • 24% of respondents were anxious because of their poor health condition.
  • 17% of respondents (Health care workers) were experiencing anxiety due to a high workload.
  • 4% of respondents were experiencing heightened anxiety due to the unavailability of food.

IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA CAUSING MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN PANDEMIC:

Social media has always been a medium for public awareness.  But in this pandemic, many people are facing mental health issues. People are circulating misinformation and false reports, which cause confusion, anxiety,  and fear.

A study concludes that 82% that of people frequently use social media. High exposure to social media is known to cause fear, anxiety, and depression. Further, many people express negative feelings like disappointment, anxiety, etc. that develop a contagious social network.

HOW TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH  IN PANDEMIC:

Any event that disturbs our homeostasis leads to a feeling of a physical and emotional disturbance called stress, while the fear of the unknown is called anxiety.  It’s our body’s natural response against fight and flight response. So if you are going through stress and anxiety, you are not alone. More than half of the world is facing this condition.

WHO published an article related to mental health and COVID 19 pandemic. According to WHO,  when faced with uncertainty or the unknown, it is normal to experience fear, worry, and stress.

We need to understand that our mental health is as important as our physical health.  A pandemic can lead to a mental health crisis if not taken seriously. The following are the tips for maintaining mental health:

Communicate with your friends and family:

Communication is the best way to deal with mental health. It is normal to be anxious during hard times. It is recommended to avoid physical contact only. Contact your friends and family. Don’t isolate yourself from your friends and family.

Positive attitude:

Focus on the thing you always wished to do. This is the right time to do the thing that you always want to do. Try to learn new things every day. Focus on yourself. Be productive.

Follow your regular routine:

Follow the routine you were following before lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic. Eat and sleep regularly. Do your work with responsibility even from home.  Following your everyday routine will help you keep active.

Don’t watch excessive media coverage related to a pandemic; it will lessen your anxiety.

Exercise:

By doing exercise, our brain produces chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are known to improve the ability to sleep and reduce stress. It has been proved that aerobic exercises decrease tension, elevate and stabilize moods, improve sleep. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can cause anti-anxiety effects.

Professional help:

If you are unable to manage anxiety despite trying all the things, seek professional help.

Read more about mental health at:

Mental Illness – Effective Ways To Treat Mental Issues

 

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adult Mental Health

 AUTHOR BIO:

Syeda Shah is a self-motivated freelance writer from Pakistan. As a writer, she believes that writing is a medium to change mindsets. Currently, she is working at https://fundaking.com/. You can contact her at quratulainali1998@gmail.com

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