To say the Covid-19 is traumatic is an understatement. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have changed the way we live, work, and interact with each other. Furthermore, there is the constant stress about contracting the virus and spreading it to loved ones. The information overload and rising cases all over the world, and in the country, certainly don’t help.
Statistics and Surveys Regarding Mental Health During the Pandemic
Due to the rising numbers, chances that a lot of people know someone who was infected and has either recovered and sadly lost their battle. This trauma of losing a loved one, being fearful of losing a loved one, or being afraid of your own demise are the hallmarks of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and mental health experts have suggested that Covid-19 survivors be screened for the same.
A study published in April in the New England Journal of Medicine predicted that the pandemic would lead to a rise in paranoia, depression, anxiety disorder, and even PTSD. This has already been found to be true in the Indian population with regard to anxiety, sleep difficulties, preoccupation with thought of Covid-19, and paranoia regarding the same.
According to the Rebooting 2020: A Story of Covid-19 and Shifting Perceptions survey by The Mavericks India, 61% of respondents felt an impact on their mental health during this crisis. This impact was higher among women who have to deal with an increased workload at home without the aid of house help or contribution from their partners and families. A recent survey by the Indian Psychiatric Society suggests that there has been a 20% rise in mental health cases due to uncertainties related to work, finance, and stress in relationships – affecting 1 in 5 Indians.
Real-Time Effects of the Pandemic
This effect is compounded for people who already suffer from mental health issues and are generally quite sensitive to uncertainties. Dr. Mahesh Gowda from Spandana Health Care noted that they were seeing 20-25 patients daily during the height of the lockdown and are still seeing about 100 patients daily. He also estimates this number to increase by two to three times in the days to come.
A lot of people also faced sudden job losses and salary cuts, further leading to financial stress and uncertainty. It is estimated that 122 million Indians went out of work in April alone. This stress often manifests itself as irritability and even aggression, leading to higher levels of reported domestic abuse.
Additionally, social distancing measures can make one feel very alone and isolated, leading to a steady decline of one’s mental health. Lack of social bonding opportunities, feeling stuck with the same people day-in-day-out can create a feeling of helplessness, which can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, compulsive behaviors, obsessive thinking, and disordered eating and lead to a distinct lack of self-care and pulling away from loved ones. This can lead to arguments and fights with your partner and your family, adding to your overall stress levels.
Similarly, people may start relying on mind-altering substances such as drugs or alcohol, or rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms and develop addictions. Another thing to look out for is the possibility of relapse as well as a spike in withdrawal symptoms.
All of these factors taken individually would be enough to warrant a consultation with a therapist. However, taken together, they indicate a major mental health epidemic on the rise. Due to the fear of stepping outside, many Indians have taken to online therapy and counseling either with their original therapists or through many apps and websites such as Spark.Live. It is estimated that this particular industry is likely to grow aggressively in the near future.
Spark.Live is an online consultancy and booking platform available in multiple languages. The therapists are vetted by the team, and all of them come with years of experience under their belt.
Maintaining complete confidentiality, the therapists are able to help people from all over the country. Due to the nature of online counseling, it is possible to schedule a session according to your availability, outside of regular working hours, and even on weekends. With CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) and Psychotherapy being the most commonly offered therapies, the counselors know how to help people from all walks of life, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or class.
As many therapists offer sessions, they all conduct sessions of varying lengths, which can be extremely helpful if you have a strict schedule. Additionally, you can choose from a wide variety of therapists according to your budget as the team understands the financial constraints faced during this time of crisis.
So, not only do you have freedom regarding your choice of therapist, the language you want the session to be conducted in, the type of therapy, timings, availability, price range, but you also get to choose whether you would like to attend your session through a video call, audio call, or text chat from the app itself. Spark.Live features therapists offering individual counseling sessions, child therapy, adolescent counseling, and couples or relationship counseling.
This is an unprecedented catastrophe, and there is no shame in admitting that most of us are struggling. If you are, or you know someone who is, please visit the website or download the Android app to book a session with a therapist.
After all, there is no physical health without mental health.