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Experts Hint At A Rise In Mental Illness Due To COVID-19, Suggest Inculcating Positive Thoughts

According to some psychiatrists, the coronavirus pandemic and a lockdown has already led to a surge in mental health illness

Experts Hint At A Rise In Mental Illness Due To COVID-19, Suggest Inculcating Positive Thoughts
Highlights
  • Fear of Coronavirus is causing anxiety and depression among people: Experts
  • Experts say, Coronavirus and lockdown are causing friction in relationships
  • Patients with bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD are suffering most: Doctors

New Delhi: The Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown which has been extended till May 3 has led to a surge in mental health illness, according to some psychiatrists. Even the government is paying attention to this aspect and it’s evident with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issuing guidelines and sharing videos on how to ensure mental well-being in the time of a pandemic.

According to Dr Rajiv Mehta, Psychiatrist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here, in Delhi people, especially the one already dealing with depression, have started complaining of anxiety and depression. For some it’s the fear of contracting and spreading the virus that gives rise to their anxiety, for others, it’s the uncertainty on the job and economy front.

Elaborating on this point and giving examples, Dr Mehta told ANI,

The most common problem patients are complaining of is that they are depressed and anxious. Even if they have a minor cough, they get depressed and anxious that they could have contracted COVID-19 and transferred the virus to others. They keep ruminating on a single thought. They keep thinking about what will happen and how they can be saved. Anxiety and panic like dryness of mouth, palpitations and nausea is observed.

Also Read: Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali Says ‘People Should Talk About Mental Illness As Easily As They Talk About Physical Diseases’

Since everyone is under lockdown and living together, there is a lack of personal space which has caused friction in relationships within families; especially among older people who have their own lifestyle. Dr Mehta also believes that the issue of alcohol withdrawal is also causing worry among some people. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal occur when someone stops using alcohol after a period of heavy drinking. Due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, alcohol shops are shut, making it difficult for people who are used to drinking.

According to Dr Nand Kumar, professor of the psychiatric department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), most patients with mental health issues face a lack of social connectivity due to the ongoing lockdown. Elaborating on the same, Dr Kumar told ANI,

I am personally calling up my patients for their follow up consultations over phone. A major challenge for those who have been already diagnosed is that they face a relapse in their condition due to the absence of social connectivity and unavailability of medicines.

Also Read: Mental Health Has To Be As Important As Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Says An Expert

According to Dr Smitha Desphande, head of the Psychiatric Department at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, though we are under a lockdown, mental health illness cannot be ignored. Considering the current rise in patients with relapse of their pre-existing mental health complications, Dr Desphande believes that post lockdown, mental health issues will increase.

Patients with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are suffering the most. A majority of our patients are now unable to visit the hospital due to the unavailability of transport. With this, we assume that OPDs would see an upsurge in mental health issues once the lockdown is over, Dr Smitha told ANI.

Also Read: Only Talking Can Help Overcome The Stigma Around Mental Health, Says Comedian Atul Khatri

Fighting Coronavirus With Positivity And Immunity

Dr Jamal Khan, Immune Therapist, said that during the lockdown it is pivotal to maintain psychological stability. He believes that immunity is linked to the brain and by inculcating positive thoughts people can strengthen their immunity.

During the lockdown, it is important to maintain psychological stability. One can do yoga, push-ups, try cooking new dishes, read new materials on the internet and can even read religious books. One should believe that this lockdown is a God-given gift to do innovative things, Dr Khan told ANI.

The Immune Therapist Dr Khan further added that people do not need to take any special supplements like Vitamin C to increase their immunity.

Having a diet containing protein, carbohydrate and fat is enough to strengthen the immunity, he said.

Also Read: COVID-19: Make Healthy Eating And Nutrition A Part Of Your Life And Boost Immunity

(If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist.) Helplines:

AASRA: 91-22-27546669 (24 hours)
Sneha Foundation: 91-44-24640050 (24 hours)
Vandrevala Foundation for Mental Health: 1860-2662-345 and 1800-2333-330 (24 hours)
iCall: 022-25521111 (Available from Monday to Saturday: 8:00am to 10:00pm)
Connecting NGO: 18002094353 (Available from 12 pm – 8 pm)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,06,51,261Cases
22,14,73,133Active
3,39,88,797Recovered
51,89,331Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,06,51,261 and 51,89,331 have died; 22,14,73,133 are active cases and 3,39,88,797 have recovered as on November 27, 2021 at 4:06 am.

India

3,45,63,749 8,318Cases
1,07,0193,114Active
3,39,88,797 10,967Recovered
4,67,933 465Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,63,749 confirmed cases including 4,67,933 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,07,019 and 3,39,88,797 have recovered as on November 27, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,105

12,153 699

64,80,061 665

1,40,891 34

Kerala

51,24,618 4,677

50,109 2,343

50,35,384 6,632

39,125 388

Karnataka

29,94,963 402

6,640 119

29,50,130 277

38,193 6

Tamil Nadu

27,23,991 746

8,418 24

26,79,130 759

36,443 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,198 184

2,163 31

20,55,603 214

14,432 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,368 8

91 0

16,87,368 8

22,909

West Bengal

16,13,451 710

7,847 20

15,86,165 721

19,439 9

Delhi

14,40,807 23

301 8

14,15,411 31

25,095

Odisha

10,48,228 219

2,216 5

10,37,609 222

8,403 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,706 33

319 7

9,92,794 26

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,715 21

174 19

9,45,586 2

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,354 27

308 7

8,16,954 34

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,097 9

103 1

7,82,466 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,643 21

158 2

7,61,431 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,209 5

45 1

7,16,501 6

9,663

Telangana

6,75,319 171

3,534 3

6,67,798 167

3,987 1

Assam

6,16,312 175

2,791 44

6,07,435 219

6,086

Punjab

6,03,173 41

335 21

5,86,245 18

16,593 2

Jharkhand

3,49,196 12

109 0

3,43,947 12

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,169 13

144 13

3,36,618 26

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,237 174

1,719 13

3,30,048 157

4,470 4

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,859 102

827 8

2,22,190 107

3,842 3

Goa

1,78,799 34

266 11

1,75,152 22

3,381 1

Mizoram

1,33,921 359

4,227 111

1,29,206 469

488 1

Puducherry

1,28,825 31

321 3

1,26,632 28

1,872

Manipur

1,25,098 28

674 13

1,22,456 39

1,968 2

Tripura

84,771 10

80 4

83,871 6

820

Meghalaya

84,394 16

335 4

82,591 20

1,468

Chandigarh

65,438 8

48 7

64,570 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,260 2

33 1

54,947 3

280

Sikkim

32,207 9

119 6

31,685 15

403

Nagaland

32,096 4

136 5

31,264 9

696

Ladakh

21,467 32

243 8

21,011 24

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394 11

29 11

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,678 1

3 0

7,546 1

129

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