Anxiety is just another normal human emotion. When surroundings do not fall into places, and the world becomes chaotic and stressful, then feeling anxious is not unexpected. Coping with a pandemic can be physically and mentally exhausting. When the fear of not knowing what is going to happen overtakes the thinking and comprehending capability, then feeling overwhelmed and experiencing strong emotions is evident both in adults and children. Covid-19 came as a world disrupting havoc, and in disguise came the mental health instability along with it. This pandemic is affecting all of us now. Be it someone who never experienced the mental shutdown or who had already been fighting with it, both are facing irrevocable changes which are hard to tackle.
Many people, especially Indians, do not want to talk or accept that they are getting affected. Especially with the conventional thinking of attributing mental health issues to laziness and western culture dependency. Nevertheless, the pandemic is still going to leave a traumatic impact on humanity. However, the question remains, why is it affecting us this much? We are home, away from the crowd then still? Many reasons can be ascribed to this happening.
- Public health actions
To cease and administer the uncontrollable spread of the corona virus, various steps have been taken by the overnment which included a complete shutdown of the economy for a few months, and social distancing. A partial
lockdown has been lifted but schools, workplaces, and other essential chores are being operated from home, which means staying inside, in the same room for how long, we do not know. And this led to uncensored thoughts and
rehearsal of things never getting back to normal in head.
- Being stuck at home
With loneliness, boredom, and diminishing social interactions, isolation becomes even more grueling and terrifying. This is affecting children as well who are not communicating the same with their parents, hence increasing
the risk of falling. A surge has been observed, both in adults and children, which is a matter of concern. Feeling swamped with strange thoughts and incrementing stress are because of uprooted normal routine.
- Horde mentality
With sudden lockdown because of the pandemic, a nervousness was discernible in public, which led to panic buying and storing whatever was available on the shelves, leaving nothing for others in need. Because of this, many households ran out of food and when the one in need could not face the empty grocery stores, a mental breakdown was obvious. The horror of not being able to survive without food led to increased stress and anxiety. With
the increasing consumer demand, it is becoming difficult for retailers to maintain the stock.
According to a survey, an increase in unemployment is directly proportional to suicide rates. With the economic shutdown, half of the jobs are lost, and territories are still facing the unsettling times. Financial issues and the stress
of incompetency to support the family and fill empty stomachs have led to the breakdown in several homes. The scarcity of money means hitting the ground the hardest during these uncertain times, affecting mental illness
- Domestic violence
With sudden lockdown, domestic violence complaints have been 10-years higher. Domestic exploitation not only affects the victim but also the children, especially when the trauma continues for weeks, and for months. The
decrease in mobility has affected the worst nightmare of few and surviving physical and sexual harassment while a deadly disease flows outside can lead to severe cases like suicide.
- Working from Home
Working remotely was meant to be a vacation with occasional work, but this had an opposite impact. Unemployment and companies laying off their resources in mid of crisis have led to double the workload and no personal life. This unprecedented situation has led people into experiencing double the stress and agitation.
- Physical health issues
Physical and mental health are connected. If the human body becomes immobile and lethargic, the increasing malady has devastating and negative impacts on mental health. Physical isolation can lead to mental isolation.
- Race for survival
Going into survival mode can be taxing for mental health. Disassociating from the existing trauma can take a toll on the person’s health. In fact, it can become practically impossible in a few severe cases.
During these terrible and unsettling times, taking care of body and mind is the most important action to be taken. Staying physically active by doing exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding an excessive amount of alcohol, medicines, and caffeine can help remain sane in these situations. A limit to what we see and read online can help us from getting influenced by unauthentic sources. Talk with loved ones, friends, and families via phone or video calls. Reach out for support and help. Several helpline numbers exist as people are becoming more aware of mental health issues, it is imperative to seek for help. Practice self-care whenever possible and be kind to people around.
Struggling, getting lost, and hitting the lowest point is okay. It does not mean it is a setback. It does not mean the recovery is impossible, and that failure is inevitable. It is normal. Mental illness should be taken care with love and support because mental health issues are equally alarming as Covid-19, and if not taken care of can lead to another pandemic affecting humanity.