CHENNAI: The brutal second wave of Covid has left many reeling. Hospitals overflowing with patients, shortage of medicines and oxygen, young people dying, however the suffering is not limited to physical, but the pandemic has also taken a toll on the mental health of the people. And what’s more disturbing is that mental disorders reported in the second wave are more complex.
According to psychiatrists, during the first wave they mainly received patients with fear of Covid and majority of them suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.
But during this second wave they are dealing with patients who are grieving over death of their dear ones in Covid and struggling to cope with it.
Psychiatrists shared that in the second wave many young people have succumbed and almost everyone is affected as they have either a close family member or friend lost to the pandemic.
Many are not able to give a final goodbye to their dear ones. Due to the lack of a mourning and grieving process, the grief burden is mounting and people are affected by a series of disorders like insomnia, schizophrenia, panic attacks and depression.
Director of Institute of Mental Health, Dr Poorna Chandrika said “More patients are coming to us for grief counselling nowadays. As many are unable say a proper goodbye to their dear ones due to Covid, the absence of a proper final closure is leading to guilt, restlessness among many. We are witnessing that intense grief spiralling into serious mental health conditions.”
Dr Chandrika pointed out as per Indian rituals during the death, family members gather and provide emotional support to each other which helps the family to come out of the shock, pain and agony, but that is not happening now due to Covid restriction and fear.
“I would suggest families to organise virtual prayer meetings, which will help many to vent out their feelings. Family and friends need check on them as it will help reduce shock,” added Dr Chandrika.