With rising cases, ‘coronaphobia’ emerges as new mental disorder

With rising cases, ‘coronaphobia’ emerges as new mental disorder

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22

Pandemic brought many new terms and words in our lives and ‘coronaphobia’ is one of them.

With the graph of Covid cases rising once again panic has started gripping the mind of people even if they have a slightest bout of cough, cold or fever. People start considering them as a sign of Covid and become restless. ‘Coronaphobia’ is a new disorder.

Symptoms include Palpitation, dizziness

  • According to Dr Rupesh Chaudhary, Professor of Psychiatry in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, ‘coronaphobia’ has emerged as a new term for Covid-triggered anxiety. It leads to palpitation, tremors, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, change in appetite and sleep and a sense of fear to attend public gatherings and events.

According to Dr Rupesh Chaudhary, Professor of Psychiatry in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, ‘coronaphobia’ has emerged as a new term for Covid-triggered anxiety in form of excessive worrying, constant over-thinking about getting infected, re-infected, whether or not getting vaccinated, etc. It leads to palpitation, tremors, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, change in appetite and sleep and a sense of fear to attend public gatherings and events.

Dr Chaudhary strictly suggests that in such cases, self-medication should be completely avoided and one should not hesitate in getting vaccinated against covid, as already many frontline healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, have been vaccinated.

“The triggers involve situations where people generally get fear of getting Covid infection if they move outside their residential premises, meeting people and constantly reading the updates or news pertaining to Covid. For such people, there is considerable fear of using public transportation, touching any surface, being at open places (markets) and at enclosed places. It is felt that due to this obsessed thinking about Covid spread, people all the time indulge in such activities which never allow them to stay at peace with themselves,” said Dr Pankaj Kumar, Associate Professor of Psychiatry in DMCH.

How to kill anxiety?

Dr Pankaj Kumar suggests some remedial measures to get rid of this Covid-related anxiety:

n Reassure yourself that nothing remains permanent. It is time to be aware of precautions required to restrict the spread of Covid pandemic and fight this virtual ‘coronaphobia’ with positive mindset and healthy outlook.

n Instead of always hooking on to news pertaining to Covid, try spending time focusing on positive information, stories or activities that take your mind off your fears.

Reduce over-thinking about your body and focus your mind on other things which brings happiness.

nAdopt step-by-step approach to make you feel safe and slowly building up your confidence.

n Channelise your anxiety into action by looking after your mental health, sleeping well, exercising, doing fun or relaxing indoor activities and staying socially connected by way of digital means.

n In case of persistent symptoms, get help from qualified professionals and not search it on Net or Google.

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