Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, June 6
A positive outlook towards infection and recovery, besides communication of one’s feelings to family and friends, is important to beat stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies which are on the rise amid the Covid-19 pandemic, say experts.
The situation is serious as 3,263 persons have died due to Covid-19 till June 5 in Himachal. However, the silver lining is that the active cases have gone down to 9,484 in the state. However, a large number of people are dying due to post-Covid complications.
As many as 218 persons have committed suicide in the first quarter of the year till March 31 against 134 such cases in the same period last year, when there was no pandemic stress.
The rate of spread of infection and the rapid progression of the symptoms leading to death is making people apprehensive, fearful and helpless. Besides, the loss of income or employment has resulted in sleeplessness, irritability, clinical depression and suicidal ideas in many people, says the CEO, HP State Mental Health Authority, and Senior Medical Superintendent, Himachal Hospital of Mental Health and Rehabilitation, Boileauganj, Dr Sanjay Pathak.
Mental experts say most people jump to the conclusion that if they or their loved ones get infected with Covid-19, they would die. However, people do not realise that infection does not lead to fatality in all cases and recovery can be done in mild cases even under home isolation. Moreover, only a small percentage of the population needs hospital care and a still lesser percentage of population needs ICU intervention.
Deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, reading spiritual books and praying help gain composure and make a person feel that he is in control of the situation, said Pathak, adding that speaking to friends and family also helps in venting out the pressure.
Experts advise psychological/psychiatric help if one is experiencing sleeplessness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts and irritability. One should avoid reading or listening to Covid-related news.
Mental Health Authority survey results
- 42.92% of the people are worried about their future and family
- 40.46% are stressed due to financial losses
- 50% get anxious by reading and watching pandemic news
- 8% people have put their suicidal ideas into action
- 2.42% reportedly contemplated committing suicide
- 4.17% sought psychiatric consultation
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