Rise in anxiety, depression cases during 2nd wave of COVID: Experts

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], September 10 (ANI): The study conducted by a private hospital in Delhi has found that there has been a rise in anxiety and depression cases among the people during the second wave of COVID-19 in April-May compared to the first wave in 2020.

The study examining the suicidal behaviour during the COVID-19-induced lockdown published in 'International Journal of Mental Systems' found a 67.7 per cent of the increase in online news media reports of suicidal behaviour. The study was carried out online.

"There has been a definite rise in anxiety and depression cases seen across the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly after the second wave than the 1st wave of coronavirus. I have seen many people coming to terms with grief, having lost their family members followed by depression and significant anxiety. As per a study we conducted last year on a sample size of 1,069 individuals of the general population during the 1st wave of COVID, we found that 55 per cent of those who took part had significant anxiety symptoms and more than one-fourth of them were experiencing depressive symptoms. At least 27 per cent of participants claimed they had considered self-harm or suicide at least once, while 3 per cent indicated they had recurring thoughts," Said Dr Sameer Malhotra, Director and Head, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Hospital.

"During the COVID-19-induced lockdown, we received distress calls from patients and their families about issues of anxiety, depression, and self-harm. Even among youngsters, we are seeing a lack of sense of purpose and a rise in self-harming tendencies," he added.

The ongoing pandemic has made many people more anxious, depressed and susceptible to take such extreme steps due to various reasons such as job loss, losing a close one to coronavirus disease, lack of social gatherings and so on. Doctors have observed an increasing number of cases during the pandemic where many people tried to attempt suicide.

"We have seen a rise in the number of cases during the pandemic. Last year around 10 patients, who came to the hospital with suicidal thoughts. But no one attempted suicide. I'd say they had compound problems rather than financial distress alone," said Dr Preeti Singh, Senior Consultant Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Paras Hospitals.

"In these challenging times, we start assuming that our current feelings and situation will never change for the better. One shouldn't forget that suicide will affect your entire family as well as your close friends. All of the people, who are close to you, will be wounded by your extreme step. Even society needs to play an important role in erasing the stigma associated with mental health issues so that the needy person can take medical assistance," said Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder & Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals. (ANI)

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