Although we all know the current COVID 19 pandemic plays havoc with the respiratory system, it is currently having bigger implications on mental health around the world. Starting from front line workers, health care professionals, grocery store owners and so many others manning essential services experiencing anxiety, depression, insomnia and panic attacks to those staying home and practicing social distancing who are experiencing a loss of motivation, meaning, or self-worth, majority of people feel like everything is out of their control right now. On the one hand people are worried about the illness affecting them and their loved ones and on the other the financial instability, loss of jobs and lack of income is causing bigger mental health problems. There is a lot of scientific literature that shows that there’s a close relationship between unemployment and mental health.
The current situation is beyond just a Health-Care emergency. It has implications that go much beyond just that. It has far reaching economic and financial implications that are going to have unbelievable effects on people’s mental health.
The uncertainty about the future, and not knowing if and when life will ever return to normal, and people in many professions trying to adapt to the new normal will result in an echo pandemic of mental illnesses. This is currently affecting and in the future too will affect people of all ages and cultures regardless of education and income level. Being a dental surgeon the uncertainty of not knowing when I can get back to routine practice, losing a steady source of income, not being able to interact and provide treatment to my patients who have been a constant source of interaction and connectedness fo me, all these are issues that will play havoc on mental health at so many levels.
It is better to start preparing ourselves now mentally to face the challenges that the future holds for us. For those experiencing feelings of despair, lack of motivation and would like someone who will listen without being judgemental, do reach out to trained counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists who can provide help and guide you through this tough period. You can reach to any one of the following helplines to speak to someone for counselling.
Helplines you can reach out to:
1. Greater Chennai Corporation- #hereforyou +91 44 46122300
2. Psychological Support by
V-Excel educational trust – +91 9884733004