Dr. Karim Mamoun
The longer the crisis continues in the context of the “Covid-19” pandemic caused by infection with the “emerging coronavirus”, the more emphasis is placed on its psychological consequences, and the clinical information of “Covid-19” patients have shown the occurrence of conditions including tension, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness as this can be exacerbated. Psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Mental status changes are the second most common neuropsychological complication occurring in patients with “Covid-19” after cerebrovascular accidents. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor psychological complications, even in patients whose degree of illness does not require hospitalization, to determine which people are most vulnerable to infection and then determine the best way to treat it.
Societal studies may reveal a wave of psychological consequences after the pandemic resolves and simple “Covid-19” cases have been cured. Symptoms of depression and anxiety have long been observed during and after previous septic outbreaks, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the “Middle East syndrome”. Respiratory System (MERS) and the disease of the “Ebola” virus, and this observation is expected to apply to the “Covid-19” pandemic.
What are the causes of mental disorders in “Covid-19” patients?
The new reality imposed by the ‘Covid-19’ pandemic, represented by social isolation, the absence of direct contact with family and friends, unemployment, economic worries and an uncertain future, in addition to fear of personal health and the health of family and friends , can lead to mental disorders in people of all ages. around the world.
The long-term psychological implications are still unknown, but the first studies have now appeared that indicate an increased risk of depression, anxiety, stress disorders and addictive behavior in the face of this pandemic.
Moreover, it is not just the social and economic effects that “Covid-19” can have on mental health. A study conducted in patients with severe symptoms of “Covid-19” revealed an association between the incidence of depression and anxiety and the degree of loss. The sense of smell and taste, while no such association with the severity of other symptoms of the disease was observed, led to the conclusion that some mental disorders seen in the context of “Covid-19” are due to an impairment. of the central nervous system.
Are conditions limited to people with the disease?
No, caregivers working under tremendous pressure can be injured if they balance their professional duties with their personal needs, and their fears increase due to inadequate measures to control sepsis and the fear of personal or family infection, which can lead to depression (20-40% of cases) or anxiety. (30-70% of cases) or post-traumatic stress disorder or insomnia and emotional exhaustion, and the incidence of anxiety and depression has been observed to be high among those exposed to “Covid-19” infection among workers in the primary health care line and in those who are infected, and the fear of infection Personality and family and colleagues’ fear of infection is a major cause of anxiety.
The prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety among health care providers associated with “Covid-19” is related to epidemiological considerations, material and human resources, and personal factors:
Epidemiologically, the likelihood of developing psychological symptoms is proportional to the prevalence of sepsis in the region, as suffering is greatest during the increase in infections, when there is no experience in dealing with similar pandemics and when governments do not provide transparent information for effective prevention and treatment plans.
The lack of material resources, especially personal protective equipment, is associated with a fear of infection in caregivers, while securing places and rest times reduces the impact of physical and psychological fatigue on caregivers, and securing these places is more beneficial than providing of psychological support in During a pandemic.
In terms of human resources, the likelihood of psychological distress is high when close contact with “Covid-19″ patients and when the level of responsibility is high, such as primary care workers in ambulance units, intensive care units, ambulances and hospitalization units for ” Covid-19 “patients.
Personally, women’s physical and mental health is worse during pandemics, young people are more afraid of infection than the elderly, middle-aged people are more sensitive to stress, and children who have children have a greater fear of infection. Anxiety and depression increase in people with a neurotic personality or when feeling lonely or in people with a history of mental disorders or physical complaints.
Likewise, the “Covid-19” pandemic has led to psychosocial complications. Although the disease affected only about 1% of the Earth’s population, fears that it affected all people, as the infection continues and deaths are everywhere, and this pandemic has led to shocking changes in life. Such as being quarantined at home, running out of money, working remotely, temporary unemployment, teaching children at home and lack of direct contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, and some responded positively and followed prevention instructions, while others negatively overreacting, causing them to lose a sense of security and overreacting. By shopping and storing, they suffered from anxiety, and some of them developed depression, anxiety and the associated deterioration in their performance and false and suicidal thoughts.
When should a person with a mental disorder see a doctor?
Feeling sad or depressed, given the pandemic and associated contact limitations, is a perfectly normal reaction, but medical advice should be sought if the person has little or no awareness of being happy, or if there is an excessive lack of motivation and is an excessive feeling of fatigue, Or if he can no longer get out of the circle of thought, for example, by limiting the thinking to the possibility of infection with the virus, and the feeling of being limited by it.
How do we maintain mental integrity during the “Covid-19” pandemic?
There are several factors that help maintain mental health during the “Covid-19” pandemic, including:
Social communication: regular contact with family and friends over the phone or the Internet (online).
Busy: Do activities that fill time and improve emotions, such as hobbies, drawing, music, reading, watching television, watching movies, and home improvement.
Sports: be it outdoor sports, walking and jogging, or doing “online” exercises.
Keep calm: through relaxation and meditation, or prayer and worship.
Rationalize access to information: by reducing the use of “social media” and news bulletins to ease anxiety.
Ongoing routine: Having a plan or daily routine helps maintain mental health, especially with regard to receiving care, for example:
Make it a habit to get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
Take care of personal hygiene.
Eat healthy meals regularly.
Make time to work and time to rest.
Make time to do the beautiful things.