The outbreak of COVID-19 since December 2019 has various implications on the population. The extent of the pandemic led to various stressors in the public including isolation, loneliness, closure of schools and businesses, and loss of jobs resulting in economic vulnerability. Restrictions on occupational and social life encouraged various long-lasting effects on mental health.
Effects of the pandemic in the health sector
Health workers are at the frontline of helping the world cope with the pandemic. These have been working long hours tirelessly to save as many lives as possible. However, working directly with COVID-9 patients encouraged various mental disorders including:
- Emotional stress
- High depression
Additionally, some people who test positive for COVID-19 end up with depressed mood, insomnia, mental confusion, memory impairment, and irritability.
COVID-19 risk factors on mental health
Limited access to psychiatric treatment
With social distancing, getting to see their doctor became very hard for most people. This was worse in people who had mental ailments such as dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. Having to deal with such ailments requires limited access to psychiatric treatment. However, social distancing as part of the new normal made this hard for most people.
Closure of health services at the peak of the pandemic increase cases of worsening symptoms and relapse. Additionally, lacking access to assistance introduced a higher risk of COVID-19 infection and clinical comorbidities. Limited physical interaction with medical staff because of fear to catch the virus also aggravated the process. A wonderful solution is to consider psychosis treatment plan online to ensure that you get the relevant professional assistance you need.
Change in daily living
The pandemic has significantly affected daily living. Social distance is the new normal. However, not everyone was able to adjust to this new lifestyle easily. Adherence to recommended safety precautions such as prolonged social isolation has led to some habits that significantly affect mental health. People in isolation were deprived of social support especially those of advanced age.
Those in their youthful years resorted to drug use and heavy drinking to beat the resultant anxiety. All these new habits only escalated severe depression leading. Additionally, survivors of the pandemic ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder especially those who had mental disorders before the pandemic.
Lack of social support
Coping with the effects of the pandemic requires making significant adjustments in life and resilience. Unfortunately, some people having severe mental conditions might not have adaptive strategies or the appropriate social support to handle the pandemic-inspired stressors. In fact, there is a strong relation between psychosis and various psychosocial issues including life stressors.
So, this makes COVID-19 an important risk factor for the growing risk and escalation of related symptoms of psychotic ailments. The fear of catching the virus when out in the public without a mask has also escalated anxiety.
Limited social distancing
Many people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are homeless. It means these people lack a safe place for social distancing during the pandemic. Keep in mind that mental disorders are related to cognitive deficits such as executive dysfunction. Such condition inhibits anyone from making good decisions regarding protection from the pandemic. These include using face masks, regular hand washing, and paying attention to signs and symptoms.
People with chronic ailments have a weak immune system. This makes them more prone to catching the virus. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus require special attention by a doctor anytime. With travel restrictions during the pandemic, people with such conditions hard to cope without their mediation leading to significant effects on daily living.
Elderly people usually have dementia. However, the pandemic and its various impacts significantly affected the lives of people with dementia. This led to an escalation of the condition with a likelihood of developing neurological complications such as encephalopathy, encephalitis, and stroke. Having dementia in the advanced stage significantly lowers the mortality rate. Early diagnosis of COVID-19 requires early and appropriate treatment and isolation. However, this whole experience might be contributing severely to a mental breakdown.
Helping people cope with mental disorders amidst covid-19
Use of digital platforms to maintain contact
Physical interaction through counseling sessions is very important when helping someone with a mental problem. However, the movement restrictions because of the pandemic make this hard. Additionally, there is a social distancing that limits physical interaction with other people.
However, there are digital platforms were to maintain communication such as video calls on Skype, Zoom, and Whatsapp. These can facilitate face-to-face interaction with loved ones or health care professionals regardless of distance. This ensures safety during these trying moments.
Adherence to safety guidelines
It is very important to keep maintaining social distancing as a preventive measure against COVID-19. This might be a bit challenging for someone battling dementia and other mental health disorders. Families and health care professionals should monitor social distancing while encouraging loved ones and patients to maintain personal hygiene. Ensuring this requires regular observation of behavioral changes or escalation of mental disorders.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the world today including escalating cases of mental disorders. Despite the limited movement, it is possible to get a treatment plan online to ensure safety during these trying moments.