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In the past few months, the world has experienced numerous public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19. The emergence of this new infection has exerted significant mental health concerns amid novel covid 19. It is therefore vital to emphasize the mental health wellbeing of the population and take proactive steps to minimize the detrimental effects during this trying period of Covid-19 pandemic.
There shall be immense need for psychological first Aid as a crucial early intervention with its main focus on Mental health concerns amid novel covid 19 by providing psychosocial support. For instance, an IPSOS – MORI poll found out that 62 percent of the Britons surveyed said that they found it hard to stay positive about the future, since the outbreak while 55 percent found it harder to stay positive.In the last few months, we have been thrown into an unfamiliar and daunting world.
The world of social distancing, “quarantining” – as millennials put it and curfews contributing to mental health concerns amid novel Covid 19. A strict quarantine for some and the current wave of social media misinformation all have taken a toll on our mental wellbeing. Among the mental health issues that we are witnessing is stress induced depression. In this case, it is important to note that we all react differently to stressful situations, this largely depends on an individuals’ background, these are things that make us different from other people and the community we live in.
Generally, depression is common and has the potential to be quite severe especially when people are going through intense stress. Those that experience this condition of persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Apart from the emotional distress we go through, some people can also develop physical symptoms such as chronic pain and digestive issues in line with mental health concerns amid novel covid 19.
It is important to note that for one to be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present for at least two consecutive weeks. The first and most important step is understanding this disorder in terms of its diagnosis, the difference with depression and sadness as well as how to mitigate the risks.When can an individual be diagnosed with depression? (DSM-5 diagnostic criteria)
NB: One must be experiencing five or more of the above symptoms should be either depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure.Depression Vs SadnessGiven that the primary symptoms associated with depression is sadness. Let us distinguish between the two psychological states. Depression is more than just sadness and not simply by measure of degree.
The difference lies in a combination of factors relating to the duration of these negative emotions in terms of physical impact caused by the symptoms and the effects on an individual’s ability to function in daily life . In this context, sadness is caused by a specific situation a person went through such as the death of a loved one. On the contrary, depression occurs without such a emotional trigger for a person to begin feeling excessively sad or hopeless about everything.
How Can We Mitigate Depression During Covid 19 Pandemic?
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Josephine Kinya (Counselling Psychologist/Mediator/HR)
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