After a nerve-wracking 2020, the third wave of Covid-19 has again created an emergency situation worldwide. Like the rest of the world, the Gulf countries have also started implementing strict restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. With the chances of another nationwide lockdown just around the corner, a recent survey conducted by some of the best psychologists revealed the psychological impact of this pandemic on the residents of the UAE.
Findings of the Survey
Many people looked for the best psychologist in Dubai during the 1st wave of COVID-19 in the UAE. Survey shows that one out of every three people faced mental health issues during the pandemic. Thirty-six per cent of the people reported an increase in stress due to home, work or financial matters. 27% felt extreme psychological stress, whereas 63% said they were horrified, apprehensive and felt helpless.
It was further revealed that women, part-time workers, fresh graduates and younger people were more affected during the first wave.
Similarly, different clinics for psychiatry in Dubai reported a surge of patients suffering from mental health issues. These patients had issues such as anxiety, PTSD, depression and all other such kinds of disorders. Experts revealed that according to patients’ factors such as financial insecurities, working from home, homeschooling, along with different health concerns has contributed to these feelings of distress.
Moreover, the over-saturation of stressful pandemic news over the media has also contributed to these severe repercussions. The feelings of loneliness, isolation, panic, fear and hopelessness have adversely affected a vast majority of society.
How Are Lockdowns Impacting Mental Health?
Although lockdowns are designated to stop the spread of the virus, they’re giving rise to several mental health issues. Psychological issues such as depression and anxiety are becoming more common nowadays ever since the implementation of lockdowns.
According to different mental health experts, there are several factors that are contributing to the immense increase in mental health patients. Some of them are:
A Sense of Fear
The massive death rate because of this pandemic and ambiguity about its spread and treatment has created a sense of fear in the general public. When people experience their loved ones falling prey to this deadly virus and ultimately dying, it causes major stress.
Likewise, the feeling of uncertainty is also contributing to this rising sense of fear among the general masses. People are scared of what will happen to them if they contact the virus or if someone in their family gets sick. This uncertainty about what tomorrow will bring is feeding to a prevalent sense of fear in people. Experts believe that this feeling of fear is the main reason that is causing anxiety and depression within society.
We’re well aware that governments globally are placing lockdowns to restrict the movement of people, which will help in restraining the spread of the disease. However, this restriction in movement and separation from their loved ones has increased frustration in people. The loss of freedom and concern about the future is causing depression, anxiety, GAD and other stress-related disorders.
If not dealt with properly, this rapidly growing frustration, depression and anxiety can lead to negative effects associated with it, such as suicide as reported in different countries. Currently, the survey showed that 60 to 80% of people are showing signs of anxiety or depression and 10 to 20% are actually suffering from it. These stats are quite alarming and if not tackled properly, the numbers will further rise during the third wave of the pandemic.
Another major reason that is leading to the rapid rise in stress, anxiety, and depression in people is lack of social security and financial stability. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, 114 million people lost their jobs globally in 2020. The lack of job security in the current situation has led to a dilemma in people who work tirelessly to support their families.
Feeling of Abandonment
A major impact of these lockdowns, social isolation, and quarantine is the feeling of loneliness and abandonment in people. The term social distancing itself, when explained by the authorities, is perceived wrongly.
Instead of focusing on social distancing, the authorities should focus on physical distancing but social connectivity to give the people an optimistic perspective. The current approach is damaging the mental wellbeing of the public more than producing awareness as it’s creating a sense of loneliness and abandonment in people.
These are some of the common ways in which the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the well-being of people living in the UAE. Therefore, if you or any of your loved ones experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, immediately go to a reputable clinic of psychiatry in Dubai. We hope that we all will be able to go through these difficult times strongly as a nation.