Indians were confined to their homes a year ago as COVID-19 tightened its hold on the region. Many people’s lives had changed, maybe forever, when they emerged months later, tentative and jittery, with a range of mental health problems ranging from depression to paranoia.
The transition process has been difficult for millions of Indians, including students and their teachers, staff and high-end corporations, the young and the elderly. Faced with depression, anxiety, and work losses, many people have overcome their aversion to admitting that they may have a mental health problem and sought support.
The panic has increased rather than decreased as the infection graph grew, dropped, and now is increasing again, according to a young woman in Ghaziabad who remembers the year after March 25, 2020, when the nationwide lockdown was enforced, throwing people into sudden isolation and a drastic shift in their lives as they had always lived it.
“When I go out, I really don’t feel well. My sleeping patterns are still messed up. My body is still adjusting to remaining indoors for such a long time, and I am hesitant to venture out. My menstrual cycle has been messed up. This is affecting my mental well-being “On the condition of anonymity, she told PTI.
Similar issues have been reported by Kundan Sahi, an IT professional in Kolkata. “I’m not sure how long this will go on. The fear of losing one’s job is still present. My sleep has been robbed by insecurity. I’m unable to sleep or eat. To get out of this, I’ve been working with a counsellor “he said
It’s an epidemic, and the two young adults are just the tip of the iceberg, according to mental health experts around the world, who are alarmed by the crisis’s vast scope. Many people came out into a changed world order with trepidation, they said, because they were cut off from friends, extended families, and colleagues while the pandemic raged outside.
“Public health cases have increased since the lockdown started, and the impact of the pandemic on the general population’s mental health is alarming,” said Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo TeleHealth in Hyderabad.
He added that the stress caused by unemployment and loss of income is also compounded by the fear of contracting an illness, social isolation, and the loss of loved ones, and that he fears the problem would worsen if “bottled up cases” come forward. “The long-term social and economic costs will be serious unless mental health is viewed as a central element of our response to the pandemic,” he warned.