Since the early days of the pandemic, fears, and news regarding the virus have negatively affected people from all age groups ranging from children to older adults in nearly all countries affected by the health crisis. In addition, the ‘stay at home’ rule, though it is essential in controlling the high transmission rates of the virus, has also added to the deteriorating mental health of the majority while contributing to the rising levels of depression during the pandemic.
The effects of the health crisis have affected people around the world in multiple ways and are more apparent in lower-income groups and lower socio-economic classes. As a result of preventive measures taken to reduce the risk of spread of the infection, many people have lost their means of earning which has in turned led to economic uncertainty.
In addition, staying at home constantly has also been noted to cause emotional and social burnout with several problems arising within families. On the other hand, people who tend to live alone, specifically older adults are increasingly feeling socially isolated and experiencing an increase in the frequency of depressive episodes.
More precisely, it can be said that mental health is deteriorating in all age groups and most countries, including the US, lack the facilities to control an incoming mental illness pandemic the experts have already warned about.
Currently, the healthcare systems of the majority of the countries have been strained and many people do not have access to professional help for their mental illnesses. Therefore, many of the mental health experts are communicating online with their patients.
Although e-medicine has said to help a number of people in connecting with a professional healthcare adviser and getting help, the majority can still not have access to medical attention. Therefore, experts have suggested people a number of ways that can help in curbing depressive episodes and mental illnesses during the health crisis.
For instance, since the risk of coronavirus infection is still high, leaving the house is not recommended especially to older adults or those with existent medical conditions. However, in order to avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation, it is recommended that people stay connected with friends and family via social media and phone calls.
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Older adults who have been constantly in touch with relatives have much lower levels of depression in comparison with those who do not use social media to stay in touch.
In addition, neighbors and friends can also be approached in small outdoor gatherings. For a gathering that has a low risk of virus transmission, cookouts are a safe option.
For younger adults, it is better to avoid going to theatres and bars and instead hang out at a friend’s home or a safe indoor space as it will include fewer people and the risk of touching a contaminated surface or coming into contact with an infected person will remain low.
In the case of children, playgrounds and public gardens for playing are safe options since they are not being used and people rarely visit due to the fear of coronavirus. By following these simple ways, depression during the pandemic can be controlled to an extent.