Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
After a long year of patiently enduring the disastrous effects of COVID-19, we’re now in the first quarter of 2021 still adapting & adjusting to this virus. However, now there are new researches and treatment options available at our hands. Let’s take a look at the psychological effects of COVID-19, before, after, and during the infection period.
Psychological Impact of COVID-19
So, here’s what we know so far
- Recent Research on the effects of COVID-19 on the brain indicates not only the presence of the virus in the CNS but also its deleterious effects on the CNS.
- COVID-19 patients can exhibit symptoms of delirium, confusion, insomnia, depressive mood, irritability, mental fatigue, and mild psychotic symptoms.
- Higher Stress Levels among family members could develop into PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) if the situation worsens for close ones.
- Loss of Job, Isolation, and Burnouts are other major COVID-19 Mental Health Concerns. This leads to increased stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and irritability/frustration.
- Higher susceptibility of COVID-19 infection in psychiatric patients due to poor self-control, self-care, and thus, lowered immunity.
- Furthermore, Lockdown restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic caused increased stress, loneliness, anxiety, substance abuse issues, and contributed to an increase in the suicide rate across India.
Reading the above you’re probably wishing you had a genie to guide you through these times of adversity. Well, let me tell you it’s never too late. There are always some steps that can be taken to avoid disastrous circumstances and get out of it ASAP even if you’re amidst it. Alright, Let’s get to it then.
Psychological Care during COVID-19
- Stress & Anxiety- No matter what situation you are in, infected or not, stressing & worrying, never really helps. On the contrary, it makes things worse. Yes, stress reduces immune function, productivity levels, and causes fatigue. Likewise, being anxious is something most people encounter these days. If that’s you, take a deep breath and relax. Seriously, learn to meditate and perform active relaxation techniques regularly. After all, no better time than now.
- Depression & Loneliness- We’ve seen a sudden transformation in our lifestyle throughout this pandemic. For a lot of us, being isolated has brought out some unresolved issues and disturbing emotions. If neglected, these could lead to depression. While there is no going back to the past, with every adversity a new opportunity rises to be seized. It’s crucial to take this time to interact with your loved ones and invest in self-care activities such as yoga, meditation, dancing, and other creative hobbies.
- Substance Abuse- With Loss of Work, Isolation & Mass Panic, one can develop unhealthy ways to cope with stress by developing dependencies on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These addictive tendencies come at the cost of compromised immunity which is of utmost importance today. Take this time to invest in activities that you’ve been postponing for so long and seek intervention when required.
- Insomnia & Irritability- Insomnia & Sleep Deprivation have become major issues these days thanks to mobile phones and late-night working hours. Add in isolation to that and a person can feel highly frustrated. Getting a good night's sleep makes you feel fresh and even improves your immunity as your body gets the time to heal. Set up a morning and night routine and refrain from screens before bedtime to get that ‘Aha’ feeling in the morning when you wake up.
- Fatigue- Fatigue is one of the most common problems in most COVID-19 Patients, Pre & Post Recovery. Fatigue can occur due to numerous reasons which make pinpointing the cause kind of tricky. But, do not lose hope, as adopting a healthy lifestyle of nutritious food, exercise and 8+ hours of sleep improve recovery rates & fatigue symptoms.
Knowing that the virus isn’t going to vanish anytime soon, it is crucial to take care of our mental well-being as much as our physical well-being. This can be done by finding healthy ways to cope with stress, adopting relaxation techniques & exercise, and getting good shut-eye at night. Ultimately, ensuring a healthy and happy you.