One of the many types of fallout amid this coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown following it has been the mental health of people. Reading about and watching on news about the pandemic, it has been causing in terms of the number of lives lost coupled with being forced to remain cooped up at home has upset the mental health of many.
Unavailability and unaffordability of medicines due to shortage in supply and a financial crunch respectively are some of the major reasons. Some, who could not take it any longer have even gone to the extent of ending their lives in this situation.
“The pandemic pushed people already living with mental health issues further into darkness and hopelessness. People who have money are unable to procure their medicines due to unavailability of stock. More importantly, since a lot of people lost their jobs and the medicines cost are unable to bear,” P. Thiruchelvi who has bipolar disorder, was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express (TNIE).
Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Psychosis
People with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and psychosis are the majorly affected as others can at least manage a little. But, those with such disorders, if they do not take medicines, they get suicidal thoughts.
An added problem is the non-availability of regular doctors. RS Vihari of Nungambakkam, who has schizophrenia, talked to TNIE that only a few doctors are seeing their patients over video calls. Most of them are not available.
Due to the lack of professional help, there is more relapse than recovery. “My husband was working as an auto driver. Ever since the pandemic began, he has not been earning anything and we are struggling to meet the ends. I took treatment for my depression for three years. But since the last three months, I have not been able to afford a single tablet. I do not know how I feel anymore,” a 38-year-old woman opened up to TNIE on condition of anonymity.
Calling the government to assist and provide free psychiatric aid could be helpful, she further added.
Social activist Ponn Mohandas shared with TNIE that lack of financial assistance and guardians is another major issue. “Normally, at least half of them who are recovering buy medicines on their own. During a pandemic, struggling with darkness and negative thoughts looming over them, they need a guardian to take care of them. But nobody seems to take initiative to help or is coming forward. Also, this section of people have not received any financial aid yet, which could improve their situation,” he shared with the newspaper.
Over to you
It is worse for those who are already battling mental issues. For them, it is getting harder to survive by the day. We encourage to stay together, keep talking to each other and keep a check on your mental health.