With no recent ease in the pandemic outbreak, COVID-19 has a new victim; the mental health.
While some are stuck in strict lockdown and others are practicing conscious self-isolation, either way social distancing has certainly overwhelmed people all over the world.
WHO is indefinitely stressing on social isolation as it is the second most important precaution against the pandemic. But that certainly does not satisfy people, mostly because they have probing questions. They want to understand the structures. Being unable to have free access to their daily lives has perhaps triggered a deep sense of helplessness in some.
Cognitive behavioral psychologists have mutual consensus on how isolation and limited social contact can lead to depression and mania in extreme cases. Such state of mind, often forces a person to go into a deep feeling of loneliness and anxiety.
In such tiring times, looking out for each other, connecting through online means and checking up on our loved ones only becomes more important.
The Risks of Living in Isolation
According to American Psychological Association, lack of social contact is likely to increase health problems as severely as smoking 15 cigarettes a day can have on an individual. More so, in the interesting tweak of studies, they further found out how social isolation is twice more harmful to a person’s physical and mental health than being obese.
There is significant evidence on how social isolation can eventually lead to low mortality rate and robust new health issues.
Many people already suffer through depression because of isolation, however with the pandemic on the loose, the risks for low mental health further heightens the authority’s worries.
But is it too big of an issue? Is loneliness really increasing more because of pandemic or is it something that humans have always found hard to talk about?
There is no definite answer to this except that pandemic definitely has pushed the loneliness buttons for some. People who are unmarried, living alone abroad or in an old home would not be able to see their fellow peers, workers or health volunteers any time soon. The pressing thought of what is happening outside in my neighborhood can be enough of a stress inducer for some.
Who are Most Likely to Feel Social Isolation?
Almost all of us have faced the fear of being alone or being left alone at certain points of our lives. Such feelings become a concern when we are not able to contain our stress and worry and it becomes chronic.
Usually this happens in old people especially who are living alone. The present critical times also put people suffering from hardcore diseases in a mentally tougher spot.
Young children may also end up being traumatized if they are constantly exposed to flashing news and death poll alerts all around the globe.
How to Handle Social Isolation?
While it’s not easy to have a clear headspace, it is important to stay patient and perseverance through these testing times.
For starters we should be grateful for online facilities which allow us to connect with our loved ones even in complete isolation.
Many online platforms are trying to reach out to people who have no one to support in their social isolation times. Here is how you can contribute.
Look out for the elderly
They may appear to be all calm and collected, but the reality is we all are a little scared inside. It would not harm us if we reach to anyone suffering alone in isolation and give them a virtual hug. If you have an old neighbor, colleague, relative or even a stranger you have never talked to, be kind enough to reach out to them.
Stay Updated on Current Crisis
It is always better to stay updated with the current situation. Keep the current COVID-19 knowledge on your fingertips. You can help share your knowledge to other people who may not have media access like you do.
Working from home is not limited to office going individuals only. Many people have shifted their work schedules online, so you might as well help someone through your skills for free.
Be Positive and Compassionate
The virus itself is enough to cause the upsetting stir, no one would appreciate hopeless ‘End of the World’ memes on their screens. Make sure whatever you do, you are helping lift people’s morals up. You might as well want to look after your recent social media feed and add in some humor and positivity for other people to feel better
Will This Social Isolation Ever End?
Not sure about isolation, but definitely positive about hopelessness. Through this virus we should be reminded how impactful isolation can be on one’s emotional and mental well-being. From this moment onwards we have to ensure we are regularly checking up on our loved ones and even on strangers, regardless of any pandemic situation.
Healthwire.pk is ensuring you are in good mental health. You can now book an online psychiatrist or any specialist for helping you directly from your home.
Please know, you are NOT alone.