Updated: Sep 17, 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated a mental health crisis, as prolonged isolation and loneliness continue taking a heavy toll. It’s an issue that has been particularly acute for younger people.
Mental and behavioural problems are increasing part of the health problems the world over. The burden of illness resulting from psychiatric and behavioural disorders is enormous.Resources and services for mental and behavioural disorders are disproportionately low compared to the burden caused by these disorders the world over. In most developing countries, care programmes for the individuals with mental and behavioural problems have a low priority. Provision of care is limited to a small number of institutions usually overcrowded and understaffed. Over the past several decades, the model of mental health care has changed from the institutionalization of individuals suffering from mental disorders to a community care approach.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic it has become stem from 'normal' people being exposed to 'extraordinary situations'. The presentations are myriad, and include emotional difficulties like anxiety, depression, biological effects like sleep, appetite disturbances as well as severe mental illness and substance misuse. For most, these symptoms are mild and transitory, but a minority may develop severe mental health issues that require additional mental health support. Children, elderly, pregnant women, people with pre-existing mental illness, people living alone and families of those who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic may belong to this group.
“One of the biggest challenges when it comes to mental health is that the media itself often plays as a trigger for people who have a mental illness, and even create mental health issues for those who don’t,” multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness and suicidal thoughts.”
It is still a big taboo in our society. People feel ashamed to face their own individual emotions. Our society showcases pity towards a person who is in depression, or suffers with some kind of anxiety or panic disorders.This in turn makes the individual suffering from mental health issues more embarrassed, uncomfortable to take proper medical help. Even accepting the fact that he/ she is suffering from some issue becomes difficult. All these leads to bottling up the feeling and emotions which may result into fatal illness and actions like suside, mental retardness and many more.
A survey found 63 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Twenty-five percent reported increased substance use to deal with the stress. And 25 percent said they had seriously considered suicide. These trends are troubling. In India one out of every five people is suffering from mental health issues.
The youth are more prone to it due to increasing competitions and complexities in life. To fit in the given standards of society the young adults neglect their mental health and well being, thereby falling into the traps of anxiety, depression,phobia, stress, and various other forms of mental disorders. The shift in digital schooling and living in quarantine not being able to meet their peers and being confined inside the four walls has given rise to mental health issues and behavioural issues in young children as well. There is a rise in domestic violence with kids and due to their behavioural issues resulting in greater vulnerability of them towards serious mental illness.
Emotional disturbances that arise in the context of a significant life change or a stressful life can lead to some symptoms which if not addressed at the correct time may get converted into serious mental illness.
Mood swings, anxiety or worry, fear.
Inability to cope (giving up) and some degree of dysfunction.
Sleep and Appetite disturbances.
In adolescents, these symptoms might be associated with oppositional behaviour or truancy.
It is significant to understand that mental health issues can arise in any age group at any given point of life.Mental health really is a sensitive topic. Yes, it’s good that we’ve become more sensitive about mental illnesses in the last couple of years, but not everyone has the capabilities to handle a conversation with a mentally ill person about his or her illness. Saying the right words and making sure your replies are well thought out are important. Treating a person who is disturbered with love, kindness and patience is a very crucial step to avoid any serious mental health issues which may arise .
We as a society need to be more accepting of the fact that yes mental health issues are real. The pain and suffering is real and yes it is no shame to accept help from a professional before it's too late. Mental health is as important as any other health concerns and it must be addressed with love and care.