When it comes to mental health, a country like Nepal is still lagging compared to the developed nations. The case is now even worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact on mental health during pandemics is increasing worldwide. But, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among Nepalese is severe.
It has been more than a year since the country suffered from the coronavirus. The imposed lockdown for several months devastated the whole economy and everyday living of people. Thousands of people have lost their lives; the entire economic system has been destroyed. Many people lost their jobs, their families, and their friends. Social distancing, the declining economy of the country, increasing dept, none of these are regular. All of these have impacted mental health during pandemics even more.
Mental health disorder impacts the normal functioning of the people. Many people have been suffering from some mental health issues without even realizing it. The case is now at an alarming rate due to COVID-19. While we worry about keeping the viruses away and staying physically healthy and fit, many of us don’t think of mental health during pandemics.
Here are some of the impacts of mental health during pandemics among Nepalese:
Fear of losing loved-one
The government announced a lockdown in March 2020 for several months. Long-imposed lockdown had already paralyzed almost every sector. Fate repeated with the beginning of 2021 in the name of the more deadly second wave of COVID-19 and still lockdown in nearly every district.
The situation had become unmanageable, and frontline health workers are working to their maximum limit. Moreover, people are scared by the news of hundreds of people’s deaths and thousands of people infected by the virus. Thus, it has made the people worry more about the safety of them and their family. Besides, the pandemic has also raised fear among people that this situation will never end. It is one of a serious impact on mental health during pandemics.
Restlessness and feeling of loneliness
People are confined inside the four-wall boundaries due to the strict lockdown and quarantine. As a result, they are not socializing the way they used to before. Spending months in the house cutting all the ties with friends and families is not easy.
The craving of seeing people again, just like before, releases stress hormones from our brains. Not being able to travel and have fun with loved ones for a long time is not normal.
Humans are social beings. They need society, friends, and family on every occasion. But, during this period, they are far away from their family and friends. It creates restlessness and a feeling of loneliness.
Social anxiety disorder
Some people have adapted to the new normal condition that is to live isolated from friends and family. However, studies show that most teen has established the social anxiety disorder. It is the condition of having fear and nervousness in front of a group of people. It is the post effect of lockdown on mental health during pandemics.
It is the condition on which a person experiences continuous mood swings. It also affects daily activities. For example, people may experience sudden anxiety or sadness, or even an empty mood.
The prolonged lockdown has devastated the whole economic condition of the Nepalese. Many people lose their jobs and their business. Moreover, it results in guilt for not fulfilling the basic need like paying the bills and feeding the family.
It has raised the internal conflict among the people. Under such a scenario, it is understandable to have mood swing disorder, resulting in nervousness, stress, restlessness, and anxiety. But, the situation is in devastating form.
It is the condition that imparts memory and retards the ability to perform simple tasks. Unfortunately, many people have also suffered from such disorders. In addition, prolonged anxiety and loneliness lead to severe mental conditions.
The case of not being able to sleep is also an increasing rate in this lockdown. Inability to sleep properly leads to a lack of concentration in daily activities. Also, it results in various physical health disorders.
Thought of self-harm and suicidal attempts
The poor economy has brought conflict in the family, leading to anxiety and depression. In severe cases, the thought of suicide and self-harm have been increased. In Nepal suicidal case has increased by 1.5 % than last fiscal year. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of thousands of Nepalese, but a lot more have taken their own lives.
The cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rapes have also increased in this pandemic. In addition, some studies show that covid anxiety has a direct impact on such violent activities.
Digitization on work and education system
This pandemic has created the concept of remote working among Nepalese. Many companies and businesses have adopted the digital platform. It has become new normal since the pandemic. But, it cannot fill the void of face-to-face interaction. Employees will not be able to expand their professional horizons. Furthermore, it has created imbalances between professional and personal life. Because people will take more time to complete the task, this might cause internal clashes in the family.
Similarly, schools and colleges are teaching the students through online platforms. Here, questions arise on the quality and applicability of learned information.
Almost every person goes through some emotional up-downs in their lives. If emotion is not handled correctly, it leads to severe psychological complexes. The major problem of a country like Nepal is people don’t talk openly about mental health. And the condition has been made even worse by the pandemic. All the hospitals are full of covid patients. In such a scenario, despite having severe mental problems, people do not go to the hospital. So, the government has to raise awareness among people on mental health during pandemics.
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