Indore: With more than 3 lakh people having lost their lives to coronavirus in India, a grief pandemic is following corona pandemic in the country as well as the world.
Presently, there is a real possibility of a second pandemic occurring: a grief pandemic. There are estimated to be over 1 million children and young people experiencing bereavement because of Covid-19.
Adolescence is a unique, highly sensitive developmental stage initiated by puberty. During this time, the biological imperative is to detach from family and move closer to peers.
“Adolescence is also a particularly high-risk stage for the onset of mental health problems,” cites research recently published by the University of Loughborough, United Kingdom.
Adolescents seek a coherent, integrated, and stable sense of themselves, separate from their family's identity. This quest is complicated in the 21st Century, as the range of possible identities continuously expands.
Moreover, the research suggests that adolescents grieve differently from adults, and that adolescent grief is commonly misunderstood.
“They (adolescents) are also at increased risk of psychological disorders, particularly depression, and physical illness,” said the research. Further, as it affects immunity and increases the possibility of physical illness, dealing with grief is essential for adolescents for beating the third wave of corona that will attack kids and adolescents, as estimated.
Adolescents in Indore shared their struggle and pain with us stating what they feel might help. “Losing a loved one is difficult and dealing with it, while playing strong is too harsh. I kept visualising my lost one for days, it was scary. I could not even tell anyone!” Riya Sharma, a commerce student, said.
An engineering student Keshav Bajpai said, “We cannot even cry or tell everyone, because everyone else is already crying. I had to suddenly grow up and be the man of the house. It still gives me shivers.”
Grieving time varies, deal consciously
“The key to understanding grief is realising that no one experiences the same thing. Grief is very personal, and you may feel something different every time. You may need several weeks, or grief may be years long.
Whichever the case, accept and deal with it consciously. Take support and help from your family and friends.”- Dr Smita Agrawal, consultant psychiatrist
How to deal with grief in covid times?
· Make a whatsapp group with your family members and friends. Everyone can share memories with the lost loved one. It works as group therapy. It helps you know you are not alone.
· Give yourself time to come out. Don’t rush or force the process.
· Talk and help out the person who is grieving.
· Drink and eat properly.
· Keep moving as it will help in releasing feel-good hormones.
· Try not to isolate yourself.
- Dr Pawan Rathi, consultant psychiatrist