Let the fact sink in that COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term effects on the global economy, politics, society, culture and everyone’s way of life, and such effects will have a huge impact on the mental health of almost everyone living through these times. There’s no escape that this fact, especially now that this highly transmissible viral infection has raged through the globe for well over six months while infecting millions people, claiming the lives of lakhs and making rest of others feel restricted and anxious.
Public health emergencies of this degree can evoke a number of affecting reactions and unhealthy behaviours’ in both individuals and communities. But at the same time, it can also give rise to enthusiasm and help people find new strengths during a disaster. However, many people are more at risk to the emotional effects of a pandemic than others.
The most common mental health disorders that are showing up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and should be taken very seriously because of the long-reaching effects they can have on overall health and everyday functioning of people.
Thought can arise in individuals due to the unexpected uncertainty associated with a global pandemic. Suspicion can be triggered by general insecurity about the future and not a specific one.
It has been observed that increased stress and anxiety levels regarding the disease and its effects on our near and dear ones. But when this anxiety becomes chronic during a extended pandemic, it may lead to anxiety disorders. These depressive symptoms were on the rise among young people and healthcare workers.
Symptoms of depression seem to be on the rise among certain sections of people. Restlessness, anxiety and depression are particularly showing up among healthcare workers. Social isolation, cabin fever and restricted mobility are also leading to depressive symptoms in most individuals living under quarantine or lockdowns.
A post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is likely to rise in the wake of the pandemic. Quarantines, loss of lives, stigma associated with the infected, limited resources for healthcare, etc, can lead to PTSD, especially in healthcare and frontline workers.