Don’t stress: Psychiatrists help you cope with social distancing anxietyUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 23:34 IST
Social distancing, home quarantine and other restrictions have raised concerns about the mental health of citizens. Lack of social contact is proving particularly difficult for those with pre-existing conditions.
A 32-year-old man, who is undergoing treatment for depression, recently saw improved mental health when he joined a new company and started socialising with his colleagues. However, the measures to restrict the Sars-Cov-2 outbreak have forced him to work from home and he has since reported panic attacks caused by the isolation.
His psychiatrist, Dr Avinash Desousa, director at the psychiatric clinic Desousa Foundation, said, “Social interaction helps patients with depression or sadness to come out of their cocoon. Now, due to social distancing, especially people who stay alone in Mumbai are facing loneliness which is aggravating their mental health condition.” With his patients forced to stay indoors, Dr Desousa is carrying out online consultations.
According to counsellors, those quarantined with family are responding better to the change than those living alone. Dr Harish Shetty, a city-based psychiatrist, said there was much “paranoia” among patients and said, “People aren’t able to sleep well due to tension about their loved ones staying abroad or in other states.”
Self-care tips for those in isolation
Follow daily routine
Don’t oversleep or overeat
Do regular exercise at home
Get enough sleep
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
Try to find new activities you enjoy and can do at home
Stay away from misinformation.