How COVID Has Affected Our Mental Health

The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way people lived and filled them with uncertainty, financial pressures, social constraints, and seclusion from the outside world.

The pandemic seems to be easing up, but has not yet ended. People have become immune to a few variants, and vaccination has empowered humans to step out and try to resume their past routines. However, no one knows when the world will enter a COVID-free era and what the future holds for them. This lack of information and fear has landed people in a state of mental health issues like anxiety, panic, and depression.

mental health

Some common triggers for worsening mental health during the pandemic

Experiencing stress, fear, loneliness, and sadness became standard for many during the intense stages of the pandemic. Many individuals developed mental health disorders, while those diagnosed with them before the pandemic experienced their conditions worsening.

Some of the triggers that led to deteriorating mental health conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic are:

Substance Abuse

Numerous surveys across the United States of America highlighted a shocking increase in adults reporting symptoms of anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many increased their alcohol and drug intake to help them cope with their fears, which aggravated conditions like depression and anxiety.

Substance abuse by people using tobacco, opioids, marijuana, and other drugs further degraded their mental well-being. Moreover, people consuming drugs faced a higher fatality rate when they got sick with Covid-19. This was due to their addictions harming their lung function and weakening their immune system, leading to chronic conditions. These conditions included lung and heart diseases that increase the risk of serious Covid-19 complications. 

Domestic Violence

The number of domestic abuse and violence cases across the globe shot up during the pandemic. Calls to domestic violence hotlines rose during the pandemic, along with searches for family violence help. Living in an abusive household for extended periods mentally impacted the victims and survivors of family violence. Staying indoors in confined spaces led to a lack of freedom and security inside the homes of domestic violence victims.

Women and children who had experienced abuse before the lockdown were more vulnerable to the risk of violence during the lockdown. Individuals faced physical and psychological damage due to the issue, and Covid-19 made it difficult for them to socialize and seek help. These situations created a toxic mental space for the abusers, victims, and those who experienced the second-hand trauma of these brutalities. 

Job Layoffs and Financial Crises

The pandemic took people far away from their financial goals. A financial crisis is a byproduct of unemployment, and the pandemic created a lot of unemployment worldwide. Covid-19 triggered unemployment due to constant layoffs and downsizing of companies. While the companies were bound to dismiss their staff due to reduced financial capacities, the loss of jobs led to a depressed and distressed working class desperately seeking employment opportunities.

The college batches that graduated during the pandemic had limited job opportunities. With families confined to their homes, earning members could not seek conventional jobs to meet their needs. Many employees working with traditional work structures lost their jobs without hope of finding new ones. This led to a shortage of work and an increase in eligible workers looking for companies to hire them.

The financial crisis incurred upon job aspirants resulted in miserable mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Many unemployed individuals reported an urge to self-harm and even contemplated suicidal thoughts. 

Limited Healthcare Accessibility

Covid-19 started as an incurable disease. Scientists, doctors, and researchers worldwide desperately looked for a cure. As suitable treatments were highlighted, the need for healthcare was not met by the availability of resources. Medicines and vaccinations were available in limited amounts, and getting a hospital bed was not the easiest job. Many cities witnessed a horrific phase where they could not manage enough body bags for the deceased patients.

The chaos caused by the pandemic called for makeshift Covid-19 treatment centers, yet the healthcare demand surpassed the available resources. To add to the panic, individuals could not meet their family members even after minor surgeries and childbirth. This caused stress among numerous patients and family members. The mental trauma caused to family members of those who passed away in isolation resulted in horrific mental health conditions.

The Negativity of the Media

News channels and social media groups became a friendly resort for people stuck in their homes. It became their escape from the monotony and a passage to know what’s going on outside their four walls. However, the media did not refrain from milking the emotional trauma of patients and infected individuals across the globe. News channels were flooded with death updates, lack of aid, worsening conditions, and probable fatalities.

Social media also witnessed posts and videos related to the deaths caused by the virus. The content was explicit to the degree that sites like Facebook and Instagram put discretion warnings for the viewers. Not everyone has an appetite for negative news, and especially in a pandemic like Covid-19, filled with uncertainties and restrictions, the negativity of media added to the stress and anxiety levels of viewers.

Covid-19 exposed humans to a series of distressing events and emotions. The pandemic began an open discussion on mental health. It encouraged the society and healthcare sector to come up with solutions. Many schools got in touch with online therapists and counselors to assist students with mental health issues. Social media became a safe space for mental health discussions, with many communities forming to discuss the problems freely.

Many offline services and clinics also came into existence and worked in a dynamic setup to help individuals find adequate mental healthcare facilities. Many mental healthcare clinics are already functioning, and more locations are opening around the country, from Illinois to Texas, like Geode Health mental services.

The pandemic shocked us all and left an everlasting impression on us and our mental health. However, we can still try to overcome and treat our mental health issues and encourage more people to seek help by confronting the problem. It is time we begin to heal and be present for fellow victims of the pandemic who are going through their healing journey. 


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