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THE PANDEMIC AND OUR MENTAL HEALTH

The World Health Organization recently declared a pandemic in the wake of global outbreak of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major health crisis affecting several nations, with over 4.2 million cases and 285,000 confirmed deaths reported to date. Such widespread outbreaks are associated with adverse mental health consequences.

Mental health refers to behavioral, and emotional well-being. it’s all about how people think, feel, and behave. It can affect daily living, relationships, and physical health. Taking care of mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to realize psychological resilience.

Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, regardless of their age, sex, income, or ethnicity. Social and financial circumstances, biological factors, and lifestyle choices can all shape a person’s mental state.

The Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) has noticed a steep rise in the number of patients suffering from mental illness after the outbreak of COVID-19, in India. A recent survey conducted by IPS revealed there has been a 20 percent rise in mental illness cases, with at least one in five Indians suffering from it.

Dr Manu Tiwari, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Hospital (Noida), said the numbers can rise in the days to come. “The lockdown has had a massive impact on the lifestyle of people. They are staying indoors with limited resources. They are now suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and even alcohol withdrawal syndrome,” he added.

Help and support is vital for persons with mental illness from their families and other care givers. Health helplines can provide support, in addition to regular taking of prescribed medication, a regular daily routine, keeping engaged and positive. Remember, having good mental status in difficult times may win you the battle more easily.

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