Lockdown 4.0 affecting mental health

Namrata Devikar
Friday, 22 May 2020

If the elderly people are deprived of contact, youngsters are experiencing anxiety while children are in an unexplainable state. These are the observations by the Psychiatrists as the country has entered into the fourth lockdown.

Pune: If the elderly people are deprived of contact, youngsters are experiencing anxiety while children are in an unexplainable state. These are the observations by the Psychiatrists as the country has entered into the fourth lockdown.

However, psychiatrists from the city suggest that keeping oneself occupied and having a positive attitude is the key to fight against any adversity. 

Different effects on different people  
Dr Sneha Karnani, the consulting Psychiatrist at Aditya Birla Hospital, said that extension of lockdown has different effects on different people from all age groups.

“Children are in an unexplainable physical state. They are not able to go to school and meet their friends. Whereas, the elderly people are deprived of physical touch and contact. They feel a lot of loneliness resulting in insomnia. Since we have technology with us, we can try to stay in touch with each other. Similarly, the young population experiences anxiety and depression. Physical symptoms like breathlessness and chest pain are also common,” said Karnani.

She added that every person should engage in exercise and maintain a schedule to help control anxiety. 

“Yoga and meditation can help reduce anxiety. We should communicate with each other. Also, a sleep of minimum six to eight hours is needed. Have healthy diet,” advises Karnani. 

She further stated that a strict schedule is essential for those working from home. As boundaries between work and home are blurring, following a routine helps. 

“Reduce media consumption as it may add to the anxiety. We don’t need to know everything. We cannot control everything. And Physical and mental hygiene should be our priority,” said Dr Karnani. 

Ravindra Talpe said, “Adjusting to the constantly changing scenario is reported as a tough task by some patients. Many patients have not been able to correlate the anxiety with any specific reason (like COVID-19 infection or financial crisis). The anxiety has been observed as getting evident in unspecified & unexplained form in most of the cases.

Anxiety Issues
Dr Rahul Bagle, Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital Pune said that being homebound for a long duration has certainly made many individuals to focus on family and to be efficient in managing daily chores independently. 

“Keeping up to date with current guidelines/happenings is one of the reasons that people are glued to the television screens. But, somehow setting the time limit for the screen is what people find difficult to implement. Those who haven’t been able to get accustomed to doing physical activities at home; have been experiencing fatigue and other sedentary lifestyle-related issues,” said Bagle.
 
He added that the young working population is observed to be moving around to a certain permissible extent. 

“Fear of COVID-19 may have surpassed the fear of losing wages in certain strata of the population. But adjusting to the work scenario concerning following guidelines for the prevention of pandemic spread should be kept in mind. People should try to be gentle while managing the self and others during the lockdown. Following the guidelines and adapting ourselves to the New COVID Lifestyle is a must. Rather than trying to change the situation, sometimes making changes in self - is a better option for maintaining peace of mind,” said Bagle.

He also added that maintaining the physical distancing with enhanced virtual social connections can make it easier to adapt to the corona era, with sound mental and emotional health.

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