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Covid-19 exacerbates mental health issues

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BY: Priyanka Saurabh

The pandemic that has forced the world into a prolonged lockdown and has already made millions jobless with millions others uncertain about their future, there is no denial to the fact that Covid-19 exacerbates mental health issues as well. The pandemic has forced people to stay indoors and discontinue their usual daily activities and as such it has challenged the lifelong habits and behavioral patterns. Such things do not go easy and have immense impact on one’s mind. Moreover the worry of falling sick, catching the virus and not making it through is the worst fear that fuels the mental health issues.

The world is in the grip of a terrible epidemic that leaves little scope for people to come to terms with life in the ol, pre-covid, traditional manner. The world is going to change-for good or for bad- and nothing is going to be the same again. Imagine the social distancing, the mask, avoiding touching, avoiding traveling and gather- the world order that we were used to is no more safe for us and as such we are left in a strange situation wherein survival becomes the most daunting task.

The future seems to be heading towards a bottomless economic uncertainty. No one’s stability is ensured and the news is far from being positive. We have already seen huge labour migrations in countries like India where hundreds and thousands of labourers walks hundreds of miles on foot to reach their homes. Many died during this and many more lost their lives to terrible accidents. It is one thing to survive the pandemic when we have all necessary arrangements in place and all we have to do is to find out the ways to avoid stress. But it is entirely a different thing to survive the pandemic with an uncertainty regarding the basics of life including food etc.

I am struggling with the big ups and downs of life and know that most young people like me have more or less the same condition. I too have suffered from depression. But, I have come out of it on my own without any medicine because it is a little easier for those who know the cause and prevention. But most of us do not understand the symptoms and causes and ultimately have to rely on medication.

The tragedy is that when you are sick mentally, they say you are insane and this taboo is the biggest factor that blocks the possibilities of people overcoming the mental stress and ailments.

Loneliness is a great tragedy in itself. So try to save yourself from that loneliness and for this you have to learn to be content with what you have in life. You have to find out the reasons to love yourself independent of someone else guidelines. It is pertinent to remember that if ignored, the mental issues can push you to the brink of suicide and collapse. So stay away from negativity and share your concerns and feelings with not just your friends and family but also with professionals and health experts.

In fact, with the onset of lockdown and its escalation, two types of issues are emerging largely in our society- The first is that people are constantly living at home and in such cases, interpersonal relationships are undergoing some changes and issues such as domestic violence and child custody disputes have increased. The second problem is that people are worried about the situation after the lockdown, such as their financial situation and livelihood for themselves. These situations are causing the most of the mental issues and in the absence of a protective net, one can go to any extent which is terribly worrying!

The writer is a Research Scholar in Political Science, a Poet and independent journalist and columnist.

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