COVID-19’s Negative Impact on Mental Health Is a Shadow Pandemic
Humans, by nature, are social animals. However, during the quarantine and lockdown, humans were forced to enforce social distancing, isolation, and lack of physical contact with other family members and friends and colleagues while working from home. Apart from this, many suffered from temporary unemployment and financial struggles due to the lockdown. Unending rumors, unscientific views, infodemics, stigmatization of getting infected with COVID-19, guilt, infringement of personal freedoms, death of loved ones, and the uncertainty of what could happen next took a heavy mental toll on adults and children.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data and reports have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has also intensified.
Research suggests that mental health problems followed cardio-respiratory difficulties as the second most reported comorbidity
Symptoms of Mental Health Distress
There is still much uncertainty about the virus. The most common emotion faced by all is fear and anxiety. It’s normal for people to experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions. We must be alert if someone around you is feeling these symptoms:
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Anxiety, worry, or fear about your health and that of your loved ones.
Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
Difficulty in concentration.
Sadness, tearfulness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities.
Physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate, stomach upset, fatigue.
Restlessness or agitation.
Feeling helpless and facing trouble relaxing.
Feeling disconnected from others.
Apprehension about going to public spaces.
Worsening of chronic health problems.
Worsening of mental health conditions.
Increased use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol and other substances.
Risk of being infected and infecting others.
Exaggeration of common symptoms of other illnesses like fever or coughing.
Source: The Leaflet