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Covid-19 Pandemic - Impact on Mental Health


Covid-19 Pandemic – Impact on Mental Health

Introduction
The long  duration  of this Covid-19 Pandemic,  resulting in more or less total Lock Down of nearly two months (in our country)  has started taking  its  toll on the mental health of all sectors of the  common people  throughout the Globe ;  In India,  the Pandemic has significantly affected  our lifestyle, career & economy over the past few weeks ;  A recent study in India  has shown that there has been a significant rise in the number of patients suffering from mental health issues ; People from several age groups are reporting  cases of excessive stress, anxiety, panic  & depression ; 

Symptoms   of Mental Illness
There are ways by which we can understand &  identify  the various mental health issues that may be manifested in any member of our family ; These are –               Fear & Nervousness,  Insecure feelings about futures,  Insomnia & Nightmares,  Anxiety, Panic Episodes,   Inability to relax, Lack of interest in activities,  Worsening of medical  conditions like hypertension & blood sugars etc.  It has been observed that during the pandemic related  lockdown  the Senior Citizens are the worst affected with mental issues ;  They are suffering from the intense stress due to a deviation from their daily routine and falling into depression over loneliness ;  Along with school &  office closing,  the  social distancing  has created a social isolation previously unseen across the globe ;

Causes
The fear of losing livelihood due to isolation, social distancing, mandatory
stay  at home ,  restriction over travel ;
·       The fear of stepping out of the house &  of being  caught by the virus ;
·       A constant sense of insecurity of losing one’s  loved ones  to the infection ;
·       Anxiety caused by lack of contacts with near relatives  living  far away ;
·       The compulsory need to store up foods, essentials & medicines ;
·       Suddenly closing  of  the sources of additional income to the family if any, caused by the  compulsory  confinement at home ;
·       Elderly people, especially  the ones  suffering from underlying diseases, have become more fearful and anxious as most of the information pouring in from the outside suggest their vulnerability to the fatal infection ;

Remeady
Create a daily  schedule for you and your family ;
·       Try to limit of amount of time you spend reading or listening  to the news ;
·       Ensure your undisturbed, sufficient sleep which helps  reducing  your stress and supports your immune system ;
·       Avoid junk food,  eat simple and nutritious food at regular interval of time ;
·       Try to develop a practice of regular freehand exercise, yoga etc.  along with the other members of your family ; Try meditation and deep breathing exercise ;
·       If you have children,  give more time to them and let them know  honestly what is going on outside ;
·       Avoid drugs and smoking ; Limit taking alcohol ;
·       Protect yourself and be supportive to others ;
·       Honour  and cooperate with the  healthcare workers’  supporting  people,  they are giving their services  for your  betterment ;
·       If you have an underlying health condition, make sure to have access to any medications that you are currently using  and make a sufficient  stock  of them ; Be prepared and know in advance where and how to get practical helps in times of need ;

Resources 
 An Article written by  Dr. Naveen Jayram, on major toll on mental health of people by Covid-19,  posted on 16th April, 2020,  in the E-Health News, Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru ;
·       A  Report  dated  8th April, 2020  by  Calliope  Holingue,  M. Daniele  Fallin  &
others  of  Johns Hopkins  Bloomberg  School of Public Health,  USA  on the
various protective measures  to be adopted during the Coronavirus Pandemic ;
·       World  Health Organisation’s Message  Ref : WHO/2019-nCOV/ Mental Health/2020.1 ;






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