• Tania Shirodkar

COVID-19 : AN ANXIOUS DISTRESS


The pandemic and its impact has been far more disastrous than anyone could have ever predicted. People worldwide are facing severe economic and health crisis which experts suggest could plague the population for months to come. Research on mental health has found a consistently negative impact of COVID-19 on mental health, with 16–18% of participants showing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety has hit a


peak in a nation where, as per a 2019 report published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), some 197.3 million people live with mental disorders. In the recent months many lives were lost and India's official tally of more than 414,000 deaths is the world's third highest after the United States and Brazil.


Along with the health impacts of the disease, COVID-19 has led to, self and social isolation, disconnection from family and friends, loss of jobs, quarantine and lockdowns on movement resulting in more people than ever experiencing feelings of helplessness, isolation, anxiety and depression. Also living a loss is painful and difficult. Cut off from being near their loved ones in such hard times or from being able to accompany them as they leave this world or from being able to bury them with a bit of dignity has been devastating for people. The pandemic has also triggered one of the worst job crises since the great depression.


The current pandemic wave of COVID-19 has resulted in significant uncertainty for the general public. The fear of an uncertain future can leave a person feeling tensed, stressed out and anxious. It could drain a person emotionally and the trap of endless “what-ifs” and worst-case scenarios can leave a person powerless over the direction of one’s life. A study was conducted by Reizer, A., Geffen, L., & Koslowsky, M. (2021) on ‘Life under the COVID-19 lockdown: On the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and psychological distress. Their findings suggest that intolerance of uncertainty is associated with psychological distress.


Mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health, along with physical fitness. Nurturing our mental health can also help us combat chronic physical illness, grief or the fear of uncertainty. When we are mentally healthy it results in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with challenges. Mental health is essential to personal well-being, family and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to contribute to community or society. Seeking help from professionals have shown to be effective for individuals exposed to community disasters and social support has long been recognized as mitigating the impact of stress on mental health following community-wide disasters. Positive reappraisal has shown to be helpful and lowers distress


It is important that we learn how to protect our mental health during this stressful and ever-changing situation. Reconstructing a better a more resilient society will be extremely crucial for a better future and for future generations. Visit us at www.montfortacademy.ac.in/vayam

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