“The pandemic has had a very important and serious impact on health. In the first place, due to the direct effects of COVID-19, and secondly, the new-normal impact on all including children, youth, and senior citizens,” says Dr C Prarthana Saraswathi, Consultant of Psychiatry - Psychotherapy at Rela Hospital.
He added that one must evaluate, identify, diagnose and treat mental illness and special needs. Substance addictions and gadget addictions are other common mental health impacts of the pandemic. One gets to it as part of coping or relaxing but over time the habit becomes an independent mental health disorder.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is another common mental health impact in people who had a near-death experience or witnessed their loved ones die during the pandemic.
“Symptoms of PTSD include emotional numbness, panic attacks, nightmare and re-experience, and symptoms are increased by reminders of the trauma that they will start avoiding many situations, leading to dysfunction. People who have pre-existing mental health issues and chronic physical illness are at risk for the same. In adjustment disorder, symptoms are chronic and improves with improvement with a life situation,” says Dr Venkateshwaran, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Mehta’s Hospitals.
He added that if symptoms are persistent for more than six months, or self-limiting, like causing intense panic attacks or causes stress headaches, body aches, loss of concentration, then it is possibly a clinical anxiety disorder and needs professional help.