Health experts warn prevalence of fear and anxiety among Indians post-lockdown
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New Delhi --- Amid the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, health experts have warned that fear and anxiety will be more prevalent post-lockdown and people should be mentally prepared and remain positive to tackle the situation.

According to Shanu Shrivastava, psychologist at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi, it is because psychologically people took time to adapt isolation and it will be again a relearning to adapt to be a social person.

"It will be certainly difficult and new experience once again as the lockdown was a new experience...person will be feeling anxious and suspicious in meeting with people as fear of coronavirus has affected our psyche," Shrivastava told IANS.

Social gatherings and handshakes will be difficult for people, celebrating festivals, and meeting people's will not be easy for anyone, the doctor said.

Samir Parikh - Director Of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, New Delhi said that during the lockdown, the key has been to stay positive, support one another, and stay connected with friends and family. A lot of people have also been involved with work at home.

"Once the lockdown ends, we must continue to follow all guidelines as we resume working. It's important to continue to have the same focus and continue to utilise our social connect to keep motivated. It's time to bring all our positivity and effort so we can collectively take the necessary steps for our organisation and society," Parikh told IANS.

For people to remain mentally fit, it would be important for people to maintain similar routines to the way they had been before the lockdown, the doctor suggested.

"Doing so would not only keep them more productive during the lockdown but also help transition back to work once things resume. Remember it's ok to take a couple of days to adjust, but it's best to stay mentally prepared, keep yourself updated and make a plan for how to take things ahead," he said.

Parikh also added: "We must continue to follow all guidelines as we resume working. It's important to continue to have the same focus and look forward to reconnecting with colleagues to keep motivated. It's time to bring all our positivity and effort so we can collectively take the necessary steps for our organisation and society."

According to Preeti Singh, Clinical Psychologist, Paras Hospital in Gurugram, once the lockdown opens it surely doesn't take away the uncertainty of the minds.

"We are already anxious now we all may feel exposed, more anxious of the fear of being infected, working will be out of comfort zone for a lot of us. What may hit us harder when the corporates and the employers will actually be making life-changing decisions in terms of financially, cut off in salaries, layoffs because things won't come back to what we left a few months back," she said.

"The economic burden will hit a lot of us which will also create a sense of helplessness and hopeless, sleep disturbances may be both sleep deficit or sleeping excessively, increased consumption of alcohol and smoking, in quite a few it may be leading to depressive symptoms, Singh told IANS.

One very important mantra is keeping someone closer in the loop about what we are feeling and thinking, a vent out is important, she added.

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