Mental Health and Covid-19
STRESS AND COVID-19
The outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) may be very stressful for people. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include; Eating problem, Insomnia, Increase use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, Fear and worry about our health and the health of our family or love once, Unexplained headaches or body pain, Difficulty with attention and concentration and Excessive worry and sadness.
Those behavioral changes decrease our capacity to reduce risk for covid-19.
In order to reduce stress there are many coping strategies. Some of them are; Read and share facts about covid-19, Try to keep up with regular routines. Try to create a schedule for creating new things, read books, learning activities and relaxing or fun activities, Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well and take a break from excessive media coverage on covid-19.
If we can manage our emotion, it gives opportunity to reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS). To decrease STS; create a menu of personal self-care activities (exercise, reading books…), Take break from traumatic NEWS about covid-19, Acknowledge STS can affect anyone helping family after traumatic events and Use simple coping mechanisms (Pray, read Bible or Kurhan).
SAFEGUARDING CHILDRENS’ MENTAL HEALTH IN PANDEMIC TIME LIKE COVID-19.
Prevention mechanisms and ways of decreasing the spread of Covid-19 like social distancing, frequent hand washing, School out, minimizing physical contact between children and their caregivers, parent’s information flow can create distress on children at home. Because of these measures, children might encounter; Anxiety, Fear, worry, Change in sleep and eating pattern.
In order to deal with these problems, parents can take measures like; talking to your kids about Covid-19 and listen to them how they are feeling about it, Monitoring and restricting your child’s access to Media About Covid-19 and be careful what you are talking about around them, teaching and reminding them about the prevention techniques, making yourself available to their emotional and psychosocial needs, discussing new practices and rules at home and create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
By doing these and similar other measures, parents can help their children by safeguarding their mental and psychosocial health.
STIGMA AND COVID-19
The stigma and discrimination might expose people to different psychological problems, difficulties to accessing medical treatment, and professional help because the labeling associated with stigma.
This can affect people’s mental and emotional health as well as their physical wellbeing and it can even cause more difficulties that deteriorates immunity such as Fear, Anger, Unhappiness and decreasing enjoyment of life, Relationship difficulties, Bullying at school or work and People who are recovering from COVID-19 and joining the society might be difficulties to keep their social life.
In order to improve the stigma towards this issue and preserving our mental health during this challenging times, here are a few things that we can do such as: Choosing our words carefully, Do not refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 victims” rather better saying that people who have COVID-19, know the facts and educate oneself and others about Covid-19, Focus on the positive part of Covid-19 in which many peoples are recovering from Covid-19, Treat others as much as you can with dignity and respect; offer support and encouragement because everyone has a probability to be affected by the Virus.
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND COVID-19.
Schools are closed, religious institutions closed, jobs are at risk, offices are closed, borders closed, events are called off and flights are grounded.
People have different ethnic, family background, life style, education and work experience, individuals have their unique characteristics who lived together, and console each other in good and in bad times. Yet in a current situation social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of the disease that is being passed from person to person. Simply put, it means that people stay far enough away from each other so that the Corona Virus cannot spread from one person to another so in this case:
While it is not easy being at home, many of us might experience loneliness in other forms as we go about our day. Having a small social network, and infrequent participation in social activities such as social gathering, and religious services have all been shown to lead to isolation. These all can affect our mental and emotional health as well as our physical wellbeing and it can also get in the way of everyday functioning by throwing off sleep patterns, disrupting focus and affecting both logical and verbal reasoning.
During a social distancing season, you can preserve your mental and emotional health by using this as an opportunity to invest on yourself, by telling yourself “it is ok not to feel ok for the time being”, by taking care of your body, taking deep breaths, stretch, or meditation and trying to think that it will not last forever.
Finally, remind yourself that this will end and you will not be socially distant forever.
PEOPLE WITH Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) IN THE COVID19
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviors. Excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
People with OCD mental disorders can be exposed to more barriers in accessing timely health services and additionally, mental health disorder comorbidities to COVID-19 will make the treatment more challenging and potentially less effective because of the COVID-19 epidemic has caused a parallel epidemic of fear, anxiety, and depression.
People with OCD mental health conditions could be more substantially influenced by the emotional responses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in relapses or worsening of an already existing mental health condition because of high susceptibility to stress compared with the general population. People with mental health disorders attend regular outpatient visits for evaluations and prescriptions. However, nationwide regulations on travel and quarantine have resulted in these regular visits becoming more difficult and impractical to attend.
In related to this excessive fear of contamination and persistence, repetitive thoughts of wash your hand and even after that performing a compulsive behavior over, over and over again it might be involve in a high level of risk. So that looking for medication and trying to share our emotion and getting support would be important to pass this difficult times.
QUARANTINE AND COVID-19
Possible mental health effect of Covid-19 quarantines can be acute stress disorder, Exhaustion, detachment from others, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional disturbance, depression, low mood.
The most common stressors during quarantines can be fear of infection, frustration and boredom, inadequate supply, stressors after quarantines, labeling and stigma.
Things we can do to cope and reduce the negative psychological consequences of quarantine can be give information as much as possible, provide adequate supplies, eat regular meals, use different forms of communication including phone calling, messaging, email, and video call, establish routines, try creating a daily schedule, but do not get too wrapped up in sticking to a strict routine, make your own routines and break up the day in order to stave off monotony, be as active as much as possible: even relatively short periods of physical inactivity can have an impact on your health, both mentally and physically.
Your quarantine may be brief, but staying active may help you feel better and maintain your fitness levels including physical exercise, and meditation, fight frustration and boredom: Finding ways to stay occupied is important, so try to maintain as many of your routines as you can. Keep working on things that you like doing. So make a plan, list some things you would like to accomplish, and then start checking a few things off your list each day and finally communicate:
Staying in contact with other people not only staves off boredom, but it is also critical for minimizing the sense of isolation. Stay in touch with friends and family by phone and text.
ANXIETY AND COVID 19
Most people are being made aware of the physical effect of Covid-19 and what should we look out for if symptoms arises and as much as the physical effect we should be aware of the psychological impact of Corona virus. In any epidemic, it is common for individuals to feel stressed and worried and everyone gets anxious during the Covid-19 disease, but if our worries and fears are so constant that they interfere with our ability to function and relax, it can lead to feelings of high level of anxiety.
In this case normal worry related to the Corona virus can be: help you to protect yourself and others from Corona virus, you are able to control your worrying, your worries, while unpleasant, but don’t cause significant distress, your worries are limited to a specific, small number of realistic, your worrying doesn’t get in the way of your daily activities or your bouts of worrying last for only a short time period.
In this case Anxiety related to the coronavirus is to be expected: Inability to relax, and feeling restless, you or someone in your family will get sick, you will lose income due to a workplace closure or reduced hours, you will not be able to afford testing or treatment if you need it, you will put yourself at risk of exposure to the virus because you cannot afford to stay home and miss work, persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events,
Things that what we can do to reduce the chance of COVID-19 having a detrimental effect to increase our anxiety: Try to get enough rest, eat sufficient and healthy food, do some physical exercise, keep in touch with family and friends, plan for what you can do, get enough sleep which support your immunity system and step away from media if you start feeling overwhelmed.