Does Covid add to depressive tendency? Expert take

As the pandemic continues to rage on and the current Omicron wave wreaks havoc, mental health of people has once again become a cause of concern.
Are we becoming more depressed and susceptible to mental health conditions in pandemic times?(Pixabay)
Are we becoming more depressed and susceptible to mental health conditions in pandemic times?(Pixabay)
Published on Jan 25, 2022 02:11 PM IST
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Isolation, fear of infection, loss of loved ones, job loss, worry about finances and change in the way of life amid Covid-19 pandemic are some of the factors that have increased distress among people which may have led to depression and other anxiety disorders in few people, says Dr Samir Parikh, director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare in a telephonic conversation with HT Digital.

As the pandemic continues to rage on and the current Omicron wave wreaks havoc, mental health of people has once again become a cause of concern.

Is depression on rise amid pandemic?

Are we becoming more depressed and susceptible to mental health conditions in pandemic times? Are post Covid depression cases rising more because of the change in the way we live more than the virus' impact on our brain?

ALSO READ: Suffering from depression? Take these 8 small steps for quick recovery

"Depression continues to remain the largest illnesses in the world pre-covid and post covid as well. So right now to say that depression cases have risen because of Covid, or that there is a direct correlation between depression and Covid will not be accurate and we will have to wait for that data to understand this more," says Dr Parikh.

"Having said that one needs to understand when it comes to Covid, it brought a lot of distress in terms of anxiety, uncertainty, health, finances, stress related to jobs and academics-related pressure. Lots of people experienced loss of life of loves ones," adds the expert.

Our social life went for a toss amid pandemic as we mostly stayed indoors and hardly interacted with people. Rise in screen time further took a toll on our mental health.

For some people Covid proved to be nothing less than a nightmare as they either lost their family members, suffered from long Covid complications or had to care for multiple family members suffering from Covid and its complications.

"The distress increased by several notches for families who had direct exposure to Covid because they went through quarantine, more isolation, worry, the treatment, so on and so forth," says the mental health expert.

"While experiencing distress is a normal human reaction, some people may have psychiatric disorders like anxiety disorders or depression due to it. We need to screen them and if they have symptoms (of mental health disorders), they should talk to an expert," adds Dr Parikh.

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Thursday, May 19, 2022