Anisa shah is a graduate in clinical psychology. She is interested in human psychology, politics, and critical analysis.
The impacts of corona virus on the psychological well-being of the population in Pakistan
A well-connected society is considered to be the healthy sign of social life as per south Asian society standards which mainly comprised of the collectivists culture. In such culture the norms of connectivity and social bonds are signs of healthy family life. In such cultures everyone take cares of each other through material, financial and emotional support. The disruption in such norms would create anomaly in the overall life cycle. Similarly, the current wave of pandemic disrupt the normal life routine around the world by creating the new normal. The new normal comprised of social distancing, avoiding social interactions and limiting oneself to home. This new normal which is considered to protect the physical health is casting a huge toll on the mental health of the populace particularly in the collectivists’ culture. In the same way Pakistan is prone to the mental health issues due to current wave of pandemic.
The outbreak of novel corona virus is wreaking havoc around the world in the realms of socio-economic and personal domains. Similarly, in Pakistan health sector is vulnerable due to excessive amount of burden to cater the needs of the patients impacted with corona virus. Where this virus is influencing negatively the physical health of patients in the same way it is revealing the vulnerability of the mental health of the general masses within the country. The drastic, negative influence is on the health of women who are prone to more trauma and anxiety because of the additional household responsibilities. For instance, Naila (names are changed) a housewife is feeling tired, nervous, restless and tensed. She is feeling those anxiety symptoms from the past few days. It is influencing her responsibilities and relationship with her children, spouse and in-laws. . In addition, this pandemic is the source of another mental health problem an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A disorder which comprised of un wanted repetitive thoughts followed by repetitive compulsions (behaviour). Saad, who is a university student complains about the repetitive thoughts about being infected with this virus. He complains about the recurrent thoughts of infection which has a negative influence on his mental well-being. In order, to divert his attention from such worrying thoughts he constantly washes his hands and sanitize his surroundings. This is consuming his time for the studies and other productive work he is supposed to do.
Pakistan is a third world country with the fragile economic growth rate and economic conditions. This pandemic which is reversing the growth rate of the major powers of the world is leading to the economic stagnant growth rate in Pakistan. Moody’s investors service one of the top three global services has anticipated that Pakistan economic growth will shrink with sluggish gross domestic product growth rate at two percent. This leads to the drop in the investment opportunities and the downsizing of the employees. Farhan, an employee of the Islamabad based High tech Company has been given two options either to resign or work on the minimal salary. He has a family to support and expenses to look after. This is causing a huge stress in his life which has a direct influence on his mood. He is complaining anger management issues, sleep deprived nights and the physical pain in his body.
In addition, mental health is the neglected domain of the health sector as the famous saying is ‘there is no health without mental health’. People are complaining about the psychological issues which comprised of the anxiety disorder, panic attacks, stress, and sleep disorders. In Pakistan the absence of mental health care facilities are creating more problems. Stress due to economic and financial difficulties are creating extreme anger in people. This can be observed from the recent two reported incidents from Peshawar. In one incident a man killed his niece because she was making noise in the house. In the second incident a wife was murdered by the husband because the food was not warmed properly. These are glimpses of the society which is not taking mental health seriously. Due to this pandemic many disorders are emerging in the population which is a huge burden in terms of healthy functioning, various psychologists and counsellors are sharing coping strategies to deal with such gruesome problems.
The first and foremost advice shared by them is the consumption of the healthy nutritious diet. A healthy diet is necessary to keep the flow of the firing of the neurotransmitters. One of the crucial neurotransmitter is the serotonin which is responsible to regulate mood, sleep and the inhibition of the pain. Secondly, the exercise at home and even free online exercise platforms are available. Exercise is the crucial mechanism to boost the mood by enhancing the physical and mental health. Thirdly, the sleep routine is most important in this stressful time. Right now most of the people are complaining about the disturbance in their sleep cycle which is the source of severe headaches and migraines. The sound sleep will be helpful in relieving the pain and the management of stress. Fourthly, the setting of the routine will indirectly help the sleep routine and would be helpful for the purposeful life cycle at the moment. Lastly, the exercises of the deep breathing and meditation are helpful for curing anxiety and stress at this stressful time.
Interested in human behavior.
Honors In psychology with majors in counselling and clinical psychology.
© 2020 Ansa