Since the past eight months, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of people in multiple ways, resulting in an increase in multiple problems and increased risk of high-stress levels as well as mental health disorders including anxiety and depression among all age groups.
The effects of the crisis have been so severe that experts are now expecting a mental health epidemic to start either during the coronavirus pandemic or right after it. At the moment, resources and access to facilities and professional help have already reduced in almost all affected countries.
As countries are once again focusing more on controlling the spread of the coronavirus due to the start of the second and third waves across the world, other diseases including mental health problems are being neglected. The danger and fear of the virus have delayed appointments and regular checkups.
In fact, some people may not have sought professional help out of being afraid of contracting the virus themselves as online resources are not available to many and in some cases may also not be enough.
Because of these factors and a general high-stress environment, experts are not suggesting people look out for other contributors which may worsen their mental health and can be avoided, such as the constant use of the internet and social media.
While social media platforms have played a fundamental role in spreading awareness regarding mental well-being during the coronavirus as well as staying safe from the infection itself, it is also responsible for a lot of misinformation and causing stress in people.
Frequent and active social media users are often exposed to an overflow of information about the pandemic and other ongoing events such as the US presidential elections, which is both good and bad as people can stay updated and get every news alert while getting stressed out and anxious at the same time.
The progress over the pandemic changes every other week. Not all news about it is going to be a good one which can give hope.
For instance, clinical trials for developing a coronavirus vaccine have reported positive results but at the same time, they have also delayed results multiple times and have shown there can be similar delays in the future too.
During this same week, health agencies and leading health experts also declared that a vaccine does not guarantee the end of the health crisis. In fact, there are many more challenges in the distribution and storage of the vaccine after it has been launched in the market in all countries around the world.
This coronavirus stress combined with other events, such as the aforementioned elections, can collectively deteriorate mental health even further. The current medical evidence has shown that leaving social media can improve mental health within a matter of weeks.
However, it can hard to do so out of the fear of missing out on the news. Therefore, to effectively cut down social media use, it is suggested that people start by deleting apps from their phone and find a new habit to follow.
If not wanting to quit entirely, a person can also improve mental health by following and reading more positive articles and news. Avoiding political news and news related to current affairs can also make a significant difference.