Hyderabad: Months of ‘unlocking’ the lockdown has not brought down anxiety, adjustment disorders and chronic loneliness in a section of people who still fear that they could contract Covid-19.
Anxiety and adjustment disorders are being noted in all age groups, doctors said. People are having problems coping with the change in lifestyle, continuing to stay together and dealing with online sessions.
Out-patient departments of city hospitals have seen a 20-per cent increase of people with mental health problems. Online consultation has seen an increase by 45 per cent.
The most common complaint is fear of the disease, anxiety in those who suffered from Covid-19, stigma suffered by family, inability to cope with loss of a family member, financial constraints and staying together which caused recurrent clashes between family members.
Take the case of Sangeetha (name changed), a working woman who is finding it difficult to deal with the demands of family members. Work from home is difficult for her as each family member is dependent on Sangeetha and no one is willing to share household chores. This began leading to constant fights. Fed up, Sangeetha took an overdose of sleeping pills. At the hospital she narrated her dilemma of interpersonal and anxiety problems.
Those working from home are not able to concentrate on work as there are many disturbances and this is affecting their productivity.
Dr Charan Tej, psychiatrist at KIMS Hospital, said adjustment disorders were being seen in people as they are not able to function like before. “For the first three months of lockdown, it was an emergency but now fatigue is setting in. Productivity has seen a decline. These are leading to problems in the working population as they are downgrading themselves which is not right,” Dr Charan Tej said.
Many of them are trying to reassert themselves leading to unhealthy behaviour in online co-working groups.
Those who have recovered from Covid-19 are also suffering from anxiety as they are scared that they will contract the infection again. They are not venturing out and are keeping to themselves, leading to chronic loneliness. They have suffered from the stigma of the disease; they are not being accepted after recovery which is causing stress.
Dr Jyotirmayi H, consultant psychiatrist at Continental Hospitals, said, “Post-Covid mental health problems are being seen online as people continue to be scared. There is one section of people who are not worried but another section which is very scared. They are scared of the second wave and its impact. They fear re-infection. Post-Covid coping mechanisms are compromised and they require therapeutic and medical assistance.”
Those who have lost family members to the disease are not able to return to their routine. To add to this is the compromised state of financial resources. Those who have lost jobs or closed business establishments are under severe financial constraints and that is leading to anxiety....