Owing to the pandemic, mental health is a trending topic again. Fortunately enough, it is gaining the recognition it deserves. None of us had fathomed the magnitude of damage a sole pandemic could inflict on our physical and emotional health and our mental health.
Apart from the most obvious problems imposed by the disease, the impact on mental health has perhaps been the most profound especially owing to how most individuals shun this topic. More so, survivors of the vicious disease may not even realize the damage being done, resulting in chronic mental health issues.
From discoveries, the scare research on mental health studies during COVID focused on the physical consequence of the disease more than mental. However, large-scale catastrophic events are almost always coupled with increases in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorder.
For instance, 1 in 10 adults from New York met the measures for major depressive disorder a month after 9/11. Almost 25% of adults reported increased alcohol usage after the disaster. Similarly, the SARS epidemic was proven to increase PTSD, stress, and other psychological problems in patients, as proven in research titled, ‘Stress and psychological distress among SARS survivors one year after the outbreak.’
According to a recent research study conducted by Munam Raza Jafri, Anna Zaheer, Sahar Fatima, Taiba Saleem & Atif Sohai, 70 participants were tested to study the impact of mental health on COVID survivors.
The study results indicated that a majority of the participants suffered from mild depression, with 29 participants reporting that COVID had the biggest impact on their mental health compared to other traumatic events.
Another study was conducted in 2020 to assess the impact of COVID on the mental health of survivors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Most participants reported feeling horrified, apprehensive, or helpless due to COVID-19.
The study was also integral in pinpointing that, albeit mild, COVID acutely impacts the mental health of its survivors in the MENA region. It signified the need for clinical intervention, especially for women and young adults. While some individuals may be aware of these mental health disorders, we will elaborate further for uniformity.
It is often a misused and misunderstood term. Depression causes a persistent feeling of loss of interest along with sadness and can severely impair daily functioning. To get a depression diagnosis, an individual must experience bouts of sadness, emptiness, and loss of interest for at least two weeks and can range from mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity and number of symptoms present.
A common experience most individuals face daily. Stress is a biological response to a tense or demanding situation. Continuous responses to stress can take a toll on the body, however. It can lead to chronic ailments if not curbed at its onset.
It leads to an inability to control their use of legal or illegal substances such as drugs, alcohol, and medications. The symptoms of substance use disorder generally range from moderate to severe, with addiction occurring in extreme cases.
As famously quoted by Aristotle, ‘Man is a social animal’. By reaching out for support, we are only sticking to our nature. Peer support is one of the major proponents that has brought several individuals this far in their experience with COVID.
At times, you might consider professional support from experienced therapists. Depending on your budget and the type of therapy required, you can choose from various therapists online. There are also a couple of NPOs that render free therapy and have been doing a commendable job.
The influx of information regarding the pandemic is unnerving, and most people find themselves overwhelmed. While staying up-to-date with covid information is imperative, it is also important to limit our news consumption. If you find yourself distraught with conflicting information or news, try a reliable source like the World Health Organisation.
Overall, dealing with a pandemic is difficult enough. Why should we constantly suffer from its aftereffects when we can attempt to treat our mental health.
Have you ever experienced unpleasant memories or had some visuals that you didn’t want to…
March 8, 2022 | 5 Minutes to Read
While a small amount of stress may benefit your mental and physical health, excessive stress…
February 16, 2022 | 4 Minutes to Read
Mental health issues are not new – they have been there as long as there…
January 11, 2022 | 5 Minutes to Read