Pandemic escalates psychological distress among caregivers

Published on May 7, 2021 by

With more people testing positive and advised home care for the treatment of COVID-19, families of these patients find it difficult to manage infected patients. 

Patna: Family members taking care of the COVID-19 patients who are isolated at homes are unable to cope with the mental stress. Patients with mild symptoms and normal oxygen levels are advised to isolate at homes which leaves the immediate family having to take on nursing and care giving roles.

Manasi Parekh, a COVID-19 survivor and care-giver said, “It was difficult since I had to manage my work, house work and their medication. So there was a lot of chaos since I was also required to give my 100-per cent to my job since I joined recently. So I had issues with time management. I think I should have consulted a therapist since the physical distress one can still manage but the mental pressure was unbearable.”

A report by Research Gate says, families and caretakers of these patients face Primary Care-post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Another care-giver, Sumaiya Irfan said, “One of my uncle tested positive, we had no clue what to do during that time. Constant check on oxygen level, temperature, there was so much anxiety. It was just too much to handle for me who wanted to focus on her 12th. Apart from that since people stigmatize it, it is still difficult for us to get back to the same mental state.”

In a survey by the research gate, the majority of the families, that is 61.5 percent people screened positive for depression. Among them 35.4 percent were mildly depressed, 21 percent were moderately depressed and 1.5% ?? of the people were severely depressed.

Robin Roy from Ghaziabad who himself was battling COVID-19 was more concerned about the health of his parents than himself. He said, “We all got isolated from each other and it was a difficult time. Seemed like I had nothing to do but constantly checking covid-19 updates which was very disturbing. And all of this got accumulated in me and did impact with negativity. So it was very difficult time to survive.”

Psychologists consider social media another source of negativity during these times. They encourage therapy for tackling depression.

Dr Babita, a psychologist said, “Consumption of social media was another issue because we are going through a lot of negativity in the recent days. I have always encouraged therapy for obvious reasons so people could have made it better through getting some help. Therapy should be prioritised as it is one of the main tool to battle depression.”

Experts advise that during this time of crisis while we focus on the physical health of the patients infected with COVID-19, we also need to take care of our mental health.

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