As a result of the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a situation of socio-economic crisis and profound psychological distress rapidly occurred worldwide.
So this blog will look into various forms of psychological distress bought in by this pandemic due to educate and sensitize the readers about these issues.
Many psychological problems and important consequences in terms of mental health including stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, uncertainty during COVID-19 outbreak emerged progressively.Common psychological reactions related to the mass quarantine which was imposed in order to attenuate the COVID-19 spread are generalized fear and pervasive community anxiety which are typically associated with disease outbreaks, and increased with the escalation of new cases together with inadequate, anxiety-provoking information which was provided by media.The psychological reactions to COVID-19 pandemic may vary from a panic behavior or collective hysteria to pervasive feelings of hopelessness and desperation which are associated with negative outcomes including suicidal behavior.Importantly, other health measures may be compromised by abnormally elevated anxiety.
As the general population became increasingly exposed, anxiety-provoking topics related to this emergence of the health and socio-economic crisis need to be rapidly identified to early detect dysfunctional processes and maladaptive lifestyle changes potentially leading to the onset of psychiatric conditions.
So let us discuss the most important psychological impacts of COVID which are the root cause of other mental disorders :
-uncontrolled fears related to infection
This is commonly one of the most frequent psychological reaction to pandemics. Several existing studies demonstrated that those who have been exposed to the risk of infection may develop pervasive fears about their health, worries to infect others and fear infecting family members.
Social isolation related to restrictions and lockdown measures are linked to feelings of uncertainty for the future, fear of new and unknown infective agents resulting in abnormally increased anxiety.Anxiety may be directly related to sensorial deprivation and pervasive loneliness.
-Frustration and boredom
Distress, boredom, social isolation and frustration are directly related to confinement, abnormally reduced social/physical contact with others, and loss of usual habits.
The final effect of social isolation is pervasive loneliness and boredom, which have potential dramatic effects on both physical and mental individual well-being. Pervasive loneliness may be significantly associated with increased depression and suicidal behavior.Unfortunately, the isolation is progressively enhanced by anxiety, panic or collective hysteria. Cognitive functions and decision making are firstly impaired by hyperarousal and anxiety and later by disabling feelings of loneliness.
After looking at these gruesome psychological impacts,it is crystal clear so as to how psychologically damaging this pandemic has been!The protective factors against these impacts include social support and psychological support.
Implementing community-based strategies to support resilience and psychologically vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 crisis is fundamental for any community.The psychological impact of fear and anxiety due to the horrible spread of pandemic needs to be clearly recognized as a public health priority for both authorities and policy makers who should adopt clear behavioral and interventional strategies to reduce the burden of disease and the dramatic mental health consequences of this outbreak.