World Suicide Prevention Day: Economic distress, erratic lifestyle pushing people on edge: Experts
On World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), mental health experts talk about the alarming rise in cases of suicide across the city amid the pandemic.
According to the experts, uncertainty about the future, erratic lifestyle increased consumption of alcohol, and financial crisis amid the pandemic are certain factors that are triggering suicidal tendencies among people.
Dr Ranjive Mahajan, professor and head of psychiatry, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H), says, “The pandemic has turned our lives upside down. There are three major factors people are currently battling with: Uncertainty about the future, financial distress, and Covid’s impact on our lifestyle.”
“All this has contributed to increased consumption of alcohol and even drug abuse among few and driven many into depression which further triggers suicidal tendencies,” observed Dr Ranjive.
Dr Mamta Singla, professor and head of the psychiatry department, Christian Medical College and Hospital, observed that people are getting frustrated over pandemic-related issues such as social distancing, isolation, financial crisis, as well as its undesirable consequences.
“Most of the patients are facing a financial crisis and are talking about death or suicide, hopelessness and disturbed sleep patterns. Many patients have increased their consumption of the substance,” observed Dr Mittal.
Study on the impact of Covid-19 Dr Mitthat Miglani, assistant professor, psychiatry, and Palak Upadhyay, assistant professor, clinical psychology, of DMC&H are conducting a study on the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of patients.
“Many patients have been expressing concern for their families’ well-being, many are anxious about their physical condition and worried about when they would be sent home. Some are feeling guilty about
having spread it to their parents or children; some had trouble sleeping in a new place,” they said.
“We realised that most of their fears and worries were rational and justified; normal response to a stressful situation,” they added.
“What we found to be most interesting was the majority did not express feelings of loneliness or hopelessness. Their phones have become their saviors; friends and family video call them and play games with them online. We realised that our society’s strong family system is helping them maintain their sanity and face the crisis,” observed both the doctors.
Dr Tarlochan Singh, PhD, clinical psychology, said suicidal symptoms include talking about death or suicide, hopelessness, considering one’s self a burden, withdrawing completely from friends and family, losing interest in all kinds of activities, and extreme mood swings.
WAYS TO BEAT COVID BLUES
Dr Ranjiv and Dr Mittal suggested, “We have to bounce back to our previous routines. Early to bed and early to rise, exercise, meditation, yoga, healthy eating habits, and spending time with family and socialisation through the digital medium are some of the best ways to beat the virus.”