Can COVID 19 be the cause of depression?

The topic itself is intriguing as COVID 19 had caused significant mental health crises like depression, anxiety, etc. COVID-19 is novel and unexplored; it weakens the body’s immune system and increases the risk of contracting the virus.

From an individual perspective, fear is one of the precursors creating helplessness among people leading to the signs and symptoms of depression. The immediate priority of the family will be to focus on the mental health of the members and develop psychological interventions to combat depression.

It is observed that Quarantine and Isolation experience has led to depression symptoms in many people like anger, confusion, stress, inability to express themselves, etc. COVID 19 affected patients show signs of depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, mood swings, etc. The occurrence of COVID 19 and the fear of rapid spread have exacerbated psychiatric disorders leading to depression.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health

The emergence of COVID-19, with its rapid spread, has exacerbated anxiety in populations globally, leading to mental health disorders in individuals. It has even caused cases of stereotyping and discrimination. Therefore, it is necessary to examine and recognize people’s mental states in this challenging, destructive, and unprecedented time.

The causatives for the depression can be due to the social experiences related to COVID and the fear of the after-effects like social stigma, sustainability, fear of the future, and fear of losing jobs. It all boils down to FOMO –Fear of Missing out on their relationships and established lifestyle. The depression symptoms can be triggered in two significant ways. It can be due to the Direct Viral infection on the Central Nervous System, or it can also trigger the immune system enduring stress-associated depression.

Women –Susceptible crowd during COVID 19

Women more susceptible to depression as the workload has increased during COVID 19. The fear of balancing work and life without a maid or lack of time to focus on self has led to depression symptoms in women. Women are soft targets of depression, having symptoms like hopelessness, helplessness, mood swings, negative emotions, and challenges in executing daily activities like sleeping, working, and eating. Most women have exhibited a persistent

depressive state with an empty mood due to pessimistic thoughts and guilt feelings. Women need to figure out meditation and workouts to relax and combat the early signs of depression. The intentional practice of avoiding restaurants for food has made women cook without breaks on all days. It is essential to address women with depression symptoms and help them build resilience to combat the passive effects.

Depression in Children due to COVID 19

Children are soft targets of depression in the pandemic scenario. They are like caged butterflies who want to spread their wings to explore the external world but unable to. We can miss out on depression symptoms in teens as they will be moody. Still, then if you notice visible changes like sudden sadness, irritability, aggression, it is crucial to figure out whether they are in depression.

Some of the critical depression symptoms in children are

  • Loss of interest in activities that they enjoyed previously
  • The absolute shift in sleep patterns and timings
  • Sluggishness
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Weight changes
  • Minimized feelings of anticipation
  • Mood swings and irritability persisting even after the change in the circumstances
  • Low self-esteem

Working Remotely During COVID 19

Working remotely during COVID 19 is a unique challenge similar to navigating the unchartered waters exploring new avenues to work and interact. It also takes the worst toll on the mental well-being of the working crowd. There is a disruption in the daily lifestyle and teleworking at home is not as easy as it sounds. The work gets disrupted due to power or unstable internet connectivity or family health, or any other disturbance. There are extended work hours when you work from home, causing disruption, suppression leading to depression.

Some depressive symptoms occur when there are pay cuts, job cuts, lockdown, and these episodes continue for a longer time.

Coping Mechanisms to combat against depression

  • To ward off your fear of isolation, get connected with friends and family by organizing a virtual meet-up.
  • Write down your goals to enhance your productivity and stay focused on your work.
  • Do home workouts and practice meditation
  • Regular brisk walking can improve mood and avoid negative emotions
  • Develop empathy and compassion towards others

If the depression symptoms are persistent for more than two weeks, there are high chances that the person needs help and support. If you observe, please take a note of their symptoms, and if the symptoms last, it is high time you take the action of consulting a psychiatrist. It is essential to consult a psychiatrist to diagnose and explore further treatment options if you have signs of depression.