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Pandemic, India and its Mental Health

India has become the worst hit country by the coronavirus in the world. On May 9, India reported 403 thousand cases, highest ever reported in the world. With 50,000 deaths in just 12 weeks, this pandemic has been devastating. People have lost their loved ones to this virus. The trauma one experiences from the loss of a dear one is quite something. You might have heard from students nowadays about their unproductivity and how they can not concentrate on their studies. These circumstances are understandable given the situation our country is going through.

In a research among college-going students, while they were in quarantine in China, it was found that the levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression among the 2485 students surveyed was 2.7% and 9% respectively. It is not necessary for one to have suffered a personal loss to experience this kind of trauma. Watching and reading about those who have succumbed can take a toll on our mental health as well. A human being is simply not accustomed to witness deaths and sufferings on such a massive scale.

Credits: Flickr // The People Speak

Lest we forget about the impact of the virus on our economy. Recent data released by RBI showed how loans against gold have gone up by 82% in the previous year. With jobs being lost, pay-cuts and what not, things have been tough for families all over the country. The financial burden is also a major stressor.

According to Indian Express, there has been a substantial rise in helpline calls as pandemic takes a toll on mental health of the population. “There has been a rise in people inflicted with helplessness, acute anxiety, panic, grief and guilt, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) as they struggle to come to terms with the disaster”, said Abdul Mabood, founder of the Delhi-based SNEHI foundation, to the Indian Express. The report also stated how calls from those with suicidal tendencies have risen to 7%, what earlier used to be 1%.

Even mental health professionals have taken a toll in this pandemic. In a recent story published in the Economic Times, it was reported how psychologists have themselves been affected by this pandemic, with them experiencing an extreme sense of helplessness and burnout, many have even cut down their working hours. Such reports have directed towards the dire situation in the field of psychological well-being.

Credits: TOI

It is therefore very important in times like these to take care of our mental health. Eating healthy, exercising, getting a proper sleep, staying in touch with others, taking breaks occasionally from work and study, and also taking ‘information breaks‘. The latter is particularly important because we come across various kinds of news, images and videos which can increase worry and stressful feelings, taking a break from which can help you calm down. Readers should keep in mind that these are general ways to mental well-being and not methods of “self-therapy”.

Note: This article doesn’t promote self-therapy and has only listed some of the ways for psychological well-being. In case anyone needs psychological assistance, please contact a mental health professional or call +91-8376804102, Fortis Healthcare.

Aditya Jha is a student pursuing Psychology from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Samra Ejaz

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

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Written by Aditya Jha

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