The pandemic ensued, and the world we lived in changed drastically. The notion of normal flipped, and everyone had to change the lifestyle to stay safe. Offices closed, institutions shut down, and businesses had to change their operational methods. A change such drastic was bound to disrupt the mental health of the general population. As the healthcare industry struggled to cope with Covid-19 cases, most mental health service providers had to halt their services. Such an impactful event was never seen before, and it gave birth to worldwide mass panic. The panic died, but the public’s mental health problems that arose, as a result, are concerning.
With businesses shutting down, corporations struggling to stay afloat, and markets closed, people feared losing their livelihood. Safety measures forced people into isolation. And losing friends and family to the deadly virus enveloped people with grief and sorrow. The fear about what the future held for them and their countries gave birth to intensive mental health problems.
With mental health services being interrupted when the world needed them the most, matters got worse. Some mental health disorders on the rise during the pandemic are:
Depression is the constant heavy feeling on the chest, hindering your daily routines because there’s a dark cloud of sadness overshadowing you. Depression is a growing mental health issue. According to reports, the number of people suffering from this crippling problem has multiplied by three. The rise was observed among people who became homeless, lost their jobs, or had to shut down their business during the pandemic. Financially instability led to heightened stress and became the most prominent issue leading to this problem.
Along with the rise in depression came the surge in suicide ideation. It has led to an increasing need for mental healthcare services. And since the healthcare industry lost many professionals, there is a considerable need for more healthcare workers. That is why educational institutes are persuading their students to pursue CEPH accredited online MPH programs no GRE to fill the gap. The sector lost many frontline workers and is seeking individuals to meet current and future demand.
According to a general survey, more than 260 million people worldwide suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. When the pandemic ensued, it was only natural to see a rise in anxiety among the population. The circumstances each country and its public had to go through accelerated anxiety symptoms in the susceptible population.
The added fear of catching Covid-19 by people who already suffer from complicated health issues added fuel to the fire. Apart from that, healthcare providers working as the frontline force against the deadly virus became even more susceptible to increased anxiety due to heavy workload. Not to mention the constant fear of getting infected while they are working. All these factors contributed to general mass hysteria and increased anxiety disorder among people from diverse backgrounds.
Another mental health disorder on the rise during the pandemic is panic disorder. As people worry about their health, their loved ones’ wellbeing, and their future, panic grips them. A panic attack is generally triggered by a specific situation that the individual fears, but it can occur without reason. People who have panic disorder often change their way of living and avoid certain situations.
According to search engines, there has been a rise in searches with the keywords “panic” and “attack” since 2020. While the attacks are manageable for the individuals after a certain period, they still cause concerns about the world population’s mass mental health conditions. Panic disorder causes a stress trigger in individuals that can hinder their daily life activities. And this problem can be dealt with only if the healthcare service providers make mental health services accessible to people again.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The main focus of this disorder is an obsession. The obsession can be because of consistent thoughts and images, impulses, or ideas coming in the head that are nearly impossible to ignore. It increases along with the intense need for mental or physical action, known as a compulsion. The obsessive-compulsive disorder usually comes in tow with paranoia. And the most common OCD trigger that increased during the pandemic is germophobia. Germophobia is the fear of dirt and germs, and it acts as the most common trigger for OCD. People with germophobia and OCD often feel the obsessive need to clean themselves and their surroundings continuously. They cringe away from dirty places and even people.
With a worldwide onslaught of viral diseases, people who didn’t have germophobia became susceptible to this fear. The disorder is generally harmless in the early stages. The early stages only make the person obsessively clean their environment and clean themselves. But dangerous stages of OCD can make the person violent.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
We must understand that the profound change the world went through was a very traumatic process. People were isolated and feared for their lives. They saw the increasing rates of infected patients and watched people they love die due to this viral disease. Such a distressing and traumatic experience caused a rise in post-traumatic stress disorder among the general population. This disorder causes individuals to relive traumatic experiences in their memory and feel the same fears, stress, and panic they felt at that time.
Apart from the people on the sidelines, almost one in every three patients recovered from Covid-19 has post-traumatic stress disorder. It makes us realize that people need medical assistance and mental health services, and trauma therapy even after devastating situations end.
Many countries have tried to adapt to the situation and started offering online therapy and counselling services. But it doesn’t diminish the fact that therapy is expensive for many. While high-income countries have reported significant benefits of online intervention, low-income countries still suffer. So it is high time that the state and healthcare providers realize the importance of mental health services and make them accessible for everyone. After all, mental health should not be a luxury. The whole country and its stability are dependent upon its population. And if the population is suffering, the country will suffer.
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