New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: While during the COVID-19 pandemic everyone is forced to stay locked at homes, the virus is affecting the mental health of people in different ways. The lockdown has made people victims of restlessness, nervousness and stress. To talk about these issues Pratyush Ranjan, Senior Editor, Jagran New Media, spoke to Dr Rajesh Sagar Professor of Psychiatry at AIIMS on 'Jagran Dialogues'. Dr Sagar elaborated upon why mental health is important during the pandemic and how can it be kept strong. Here are some highlights from the entire conversation:

Question: In the last two months during the second wave of Corona, we all have gone through a very difficult time with many people losing their near ones. This has also impacted the mental health of people. Is India, as a country prepared to deal with such mental health crisis?

Answer: You said it rightly, in the second wave of COVID-19 the number of patients in the country has crossed 4 lakhs. During this time there was hardly any family which was not affected by Corona. Also, there is hardly any person left in the second wave who has not lost a close one. All the bad news coming 24*7 from all sides during this time has affected our mind.

Your heart is influenced by the surrounding environment. If there is any disturbing incident around you, then it affects your mind. Amid this many types of questions come to our mind like- what if I get infected with Corona, whether I will be able to get a bed in the hospital, or will I be able to arrange medicines or oxygen? This has been seen not only in India but in other countries also when an epidemic starts, along with it an epidemic of mental health also starts. Mental health diseases have increased due to the pandemic.

Also, there is a kind of stigma attached to the mental health people hide that if I say that I am afraid, nervous, restless and stressed, I will be considered a weak person. In such a situation, I would like to say that even though there is no cure for corona at this time, but there are cures for mental diseases. If you have any problem related to mental health, do not panic, it can be completely treated and you can recover well.

Question - How should both a covid patient and his/her caretaker take care of their mental health? Are there any signs to be aware of?

Answer - It is very important to recognize if one is under stress. It is the first step to dealing with it. For this, it is necessary to understand self-management and have knowledge of mental health. Recognizing if one is under stress could be observed through behavioural changes. They include not indulging in conversations with people, meeting them, or always wanting to stay locked in their own room. Apart from this, it is also important to pay attention to emotional health. A doctor must be consulted if one feels irritable, angry, sad, nervous, restless, scared, has negative thoughts, lacks interest in any work, loss of appetite and sleep, etc.

Also, it should be understood that If someone is stressed, it does not mean that they are weak. They are just going through a bad phase, which will pass soon. To deal with this, try to interact with people, exercise, meditate, do yoga, have a balanced diet, and sleep well. Just do the things you love. More importantly, if you think your problem is more serious, talk to family or friends about it.

Watch the full conversation here:

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan