12121This too will pass away…………. COVID 19

We always hear this word back and forth, where ever we go in a day. But we have to learn to balance between Joy & sorrow. 

Since COVID 19 was declared as a pandemic, a global crisis, whole humankind is shaken. It is declared as a disaster. I think this is worse than World War II. We were all along apprehensive of missile war & nuclear war. Nature has shocked the governments & public at large by an organism much smaller than an atom bomb. This is what we call in Indian mythology as Kaliyuga. 

Ever since the lockdown was announced, public panic has ricocheted. People are afraid of everything; insecurity about life has come to the top as in Gestalt psychology. As a health worker, we are much more apprehensive, helpless, as patient consultation is closed, medicines couldn’t be sent, daily at least 300 frantic calls about services etc.

Ever since the lockdown was announced, public panic has ricocheted. People are afraid of everything; insecurity about life has come to the top as in Gestalt psychology. As a health worker, we are much more apprehensive, helpless, as patient consultation is closed, medicines couldn’t be sent, daily at least 300 frantic calls about services etc.

 Since there are only 2 or 3 psychiatric hospitals in Tamilnadu all violent patients from far off come to get admitted especially with Bipolar Mania, Psychotic excitement. The maintenance expenditure for the hospital has skyrocketed, but we are not able to put the cost to the patients. In fact we are in a tight corner.

We get many varieties of calls. One of the lady clients called me & said. “Sir, I am happy nowadays. I used to complain to you that my husband is always on the toes to look after business, but now he is stuck to home. Since we have a hotline & tele- consultation people reach us with extreme anxiety, panic, insomnia and some people are extremely worried & saw their workload have increased, not able to manage children. Elders have their own worries. 

One thing I couldn’t bear: since special school for disabled children are closed, parents are not able to manage their aggression, and violence. We had to just listen & say some soothing words and some useful tips. 

We read about many suicides during this lockdown. Three people have committed suicide, and they believed they might have contracted COVID 19. 

 

More than ten people have committed suicide because they couldn’t tolerate alcohol withdrawal. Surprisingly contradictory to expectation- emergency consultation for withdrawals symptoms are less. Also, reports come that domestic violence has increased.

 

Another funny report I read was the use of DATING APPs had increased alarmingly. Even married people are using these. School children find it difficult to stay inside home for such a long period. All are hook to mobile & get gaming addiction.

World Bank predicts a negative GDP to -3% this current year. Unemployment is the highest now due to business shutdown.

 All these impact our happiness, we go far extreme anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorders (excess arousal, hyper vigilant, reliving the trauma & depression). This is more seen in those who have been discharged after treatment of infection & those quarantined people with negative result. They have a sense of being victimized, confined for no fault of them, & stigma attached to quarantine.

 

In psychological terms this whole event is like a grief reaction. 

  1. Stage of shock- feeling numb about the event
  2. Stage of denial- No! This is not happening to me!!
  3. Stage of bargaining- why don’t you help me? Give back my life. 
  4. Stage of depression – clinical depression
  5. Stage of acceptance- reality orientation

At present we are in stage 3 – Bargaining – we question the rationale of lockdown, reasons for death, clash between those who support and those who oppose lockdown.

WPA predicts depression and PTSD will sour in the next 3 months. 

As I tell you all over is not bad- I mean still we are alive. We will live if we follow the government rules and regulations. Accept them: don’t think too much about death. Only those who didn’t follow guidelines have been affected. Accept the reality.

All these anxiety, depression, stress have biological reasons. Based on your personality & nurturing, the innate biological mechanism activates the hypothalamus pituitary, Adrenal axis (HPA axis) aberration in the circuit is the clinical expression. 

 

What is the answer to all this anxiety and disorder? 

You are not alone:  You think all about yourself. All the seven billion population are having similar suffering. Share with your family and friends about your feelings & reassure them. Keep talking about stay home, stay safe!