A pandemic is not just a medical concern; it is a psychological alarm as well. COVID-19 has disrupted life, taken away the life of millions, distanced and isolated thousands, and made running errands troublesome, halting the world like never before. Consequently, people have been facing anxiety, depression, stress, stigma, and xenophobia. The rapid transmission of the coronavirus through humans has resulted in the enforcement of lockdowns, isolation, closure of all institutions- education, work, entertainment, recreation.
These measures have taken a toll on the psychological state of people and have induced profound adverse effects. Separation from loved ones, widespread fear, loneliness, loss of freedom, unemployment, and uncertainty are some of the mental health factors that this outbreak has caused. During these testing times, only healthcare officials have been optimistic, resilient, and cooperative.
They play a critical role by being on the frontline to protect millions from this deadly virus daily. Healthcare workers have been working hard to deliver proper public health and care to everyone. Mental health risks, including suicide, self-harm, substance misuse, domestic and child abuse, and the on-going pandemic have led to disastrous effects on public health, leaving it in shambles. The pandemic has affected the psychological well-being of people. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading to learn more about the impact it has caused in numerous ways.
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)
Millions have obtained an Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) due to their excessive focus on public health, safety, and hygiene. Public health is the most vulnerable thing in today’s world; considering the pandemic, it is also the most vital thing. Therefore, if you wish to keep your OCD in control, you must educate yourself regarding public health. It will be beneficial for individuals in the healthcare sector in these challenging times to acquire a course such as a master of public health online to guide the masses about the scenario, which will eventually influence global trends.
The unemployment, inflation, expensive healthcare, and the collapse of businesses; have led to extreme anxiety, stress, and depression, among men and women. The self-employed, people with insecure jobs, and low-paid workers seem to be facing the brunt of lockdowns amid COVID. Depression is also taking over the younger generation, who lost their freedom due to these restrictions and are bound indoors throughout. Moreover, the final year students who may have planned some goals and jobs after graduation are also feeling stressed since nothing is materializing due to COVID. Furthermore, pregnant women are at a higher risk of facing depression since they have the pressure of their newborn’s health and the well-being of their own.
Due to a decline in medical support and financial resources, people have become passive-aggressive. The built-in anger and conflict have led to a mental disturbance in people, particularly men. There has been a rise in the risk of domestic and inter-family violence; the abuse rose from 32 to 36 percent in France, 21 to 35 percent in the USA, and 25 percent rise in the UK. These numbers highlight the alarming psychological impacts of COVID and its measures around the world.
FEAR OF LOSS
An awful feeling of loss has emerged in the current situation; loss of income, routine, social interaction, loved ones, life, position, and happiness. These feelings arise among the kids, teenagers, adults, even older people as all experience the halting and altering of life due to the pandemic. Children feel lost, bored, lack social interaction due to the closure of schools, disturbed routines, and online school. Teenagers think of the loss of connection with friends and disruption in life. Those who were waiting for their graduation feel the loss of achievement and future career for which they worked so hard. Moreover, adults fear a loss of jobs, income, facilities, and loved ones. Older people worry about losing their lives that this deadly virus has been taking for a year.
Emotional stress is the biggest challenge of any pandemic as people dread getting the virus and dying alone. It has been a nightmare for older people and healthcare workers who are at risk. Healthcare staff deals with challenges every day; due to their lack of safe pieces of equipment, draining long shifts, and handling several deaths daily. These factors significantly impact their mental health. According to a recent survey from YouGov, out of 996 healthcare workers in the UK for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), about 50% revealed their deteriorating mental health. Healthcare professionals experience stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation amid COVID-19 during their hospital shifts.
Loneliness is also one of the mental issues that have arisen due to the pandemic. Since countries worldwide have taken measures like isolation, lockdowns, social distance, and closure of all functional institutes, social connection is entirely lost. People feel melancholic and miserable with no loved one, friend, and other relatives near them. The close rapport and togetherness they used to feel for their dear ones pre-COVID does not exist anymore. This feeling has given birth to a gloomy and grief-stricken environment in the world. An unhappy, lonely person falls into the pits of a weak immune system, subsequently becoming unwell.
In a nutshell, this pandemic has taken over our psychological state of mind, leading to unprecedented mental challenges and feelings. The repercussions range from OCD, depression, and fear of loss to emotional strenuous, aggressiveness, and loneliness. Moreover, these effects lead to mental health risk factors like suicide, domestic violence, and personality disorder. The governments need to focus on the already deteriorating mental health conditions and the current medical emergency to avoid more damage to public health. Since these psychological issues may have grave implications on the people in the years to come, we need to find a way to cater to them not to haunt us in the future.