The terrible consequences of the pandemic are inescapable. Covid-19 is said to be seeding into stress and anxiety among people globally. Indian-originated research states that people are dealing with more mental problems than ever before amid pandemic. Though essential-public-actions have already made people isolated and lonely. Moreover, the fear and anxiety of getting infected add fuel to it.

Mental health is already a leading yet the least discussed topic. As we all know most psychological problems have no physical symptoms but impact our overall health and life. Societal stigma has made it more awkward and embarrassing to discuss and seek help when someone suffers from any emotional or mental problems. 

Mental health problems were already a leading cause of suffering and the most neglected health issue globally before the pandemic,” said study author Vikram Patel from Harvard University in the US.

“The pandemic will, through worsening the social determinants of mental health, fuel a worsening of this crisis,” Patel added.

The study, scheduled to be presented at the ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID) in the US, revealed that the pressures on mental health, that already existed in abundance before this global pandemic, are increasing at an alarming rate. 

There are so many issues that affect large sections of the population, including worries about jobs and income security, social exclusion, school closures, and working from home creating huge pressure on families,” Patel said. 

“There are also disruptions to medical services and care, potential domestic violence situations, and the varying levels of fear people have of being infected by this new virus,” he stressed.

The pandemic threatens to reverse years of global development, including in the countries that can least afford to start going backward. 

In August 2020, World Bank President David Malpass predicted as many as 100 million people will be pushed back into extreme poverty. 

As a result of the global economic recession, the mental health tsunami is going to sweep through all countries, rich and poor. 

“The 2008 recession, which largely affected only the US, was followed by a wave of ‘deaths of despair’ in the US, driven by suicide and substance use,” Patel said. 

He pointed out that Covid-19 arrived, there was already a global mental health crisis.

According to the researchers, the relative burden of mental and substance use disorders increased by nearly 50 percent in the past 25 years. 

“These disorders now account for one in every ten years of lost health globally and suicide rates in young people are rising in many countries,” the study authors wrote.

“I believe the pandemic presents a historic opportunity to reimagine mental health care, by realizing the science which demonstrates that we must reframe mental health beyond a narrow focus on diagnoses, doctors, and drugs,” Patel concluded.