Even as medical experts investigate the newly emerging coronavirus variants, there has been an uptick in cases of another sort. The problems of anxiety and depression are raising their heads. A recent online study by KEM Hospital in Sion has revealed that 25 per cent of people in the city are suffering from depression and nearly 26 per cent from anxiety.
For the study, 518 participants filled google forms made available through psychiatric experts. Doctors said though the city has opened up, these mental health problems brough on by the pandemic won’t disappear overnight; in fact they are becoming severe by the day.
While some participants expressed that they are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, the others delved on the serious aspects of worrying about death or living in dread of getting infected if they set foot outside their homes. Recently, a survey conducted at SevenHills Hospital revealed that nearly 23 per cent of Covid patients admitted to hospital were suffering from mental health problems.
Dr Ajita Nayak, the head of the department of mental health at KEM said the pandemic has impacted people quite badly. Financial problems like student loans, job and income losses are a prime concern, she said. “Besides, people have spent a lot on Covid treatment for themselves or their families,” said Dr Nayak.
Psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada said panic attacks figure in several consultations and patients need to be counselled and made aware of the current situation. Dr Mundada has been counselling over 15 patients daily and said this will help them understand what is important in their life, instead of wasting time thinking about coronavirus and its consequences. He advised trying to cultivate a positive outlook towards life.
A senior psychiatrist from BYL Nair Hospital said they see patients consumed with thoughts of death and dying and feeling that things will never improve. He said many of them are on their own in the city, having come here to pursue their dreams. He said, “Every day I see five to 10 patients who complain of anxiety and panic attacks. Many are still afraid of stepping out of their house, for fear of being infected again,” he said.
He said patients are advised to busy themselves with favourite activities, while exercising due care. “I suggest they listen to music or read humorous stuff during their commute. The current scenario is unlikely to change anytime soon,” he added.
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