The impact of the second wave of COVID-19 is such that some people are getting disturbed mentally, and behavioural changes are seen in them. A few persons are resorting to the extreme step, fearing that there is no escape from the virus, while others are seeking psychiatric help.
Against this backdrop, psychiatrists are advising people to shed unfounded fears, while adopting established prevention protocols, and, if necessary, right treatment on the advice of doctors.
Lack of beds, drugs and oxygen, and high hospitalisation costs are resulting in anxiety and stress among the people.
A final year B. Tech student has been living in extreme fear of COVID-19. The youngster, living with his parents in the city, has been refusing to step out of the house. The family members are well-educated and follow all the safety norms.
“His parents are worried as their son has developed shivering, and has been behaving abnormally,” says Balasubrahmanyam Kovvali, a physician and specialist in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and psychological counselling, trained in India and the U.K.
“In a counselling session arranged online, the youngster initially hesitated to speak, but opened up after he felt reassured that I would keep the conversation confidential,” says Dr. Balasubrahmanyam.
“The student, who has been closely following the social media posts, is under the impression that there is no escape from the pandemic. He is also worried about the safety of his parents. He seems to have forgotten that only 2% of the COVID-19 patients are dying. The youngster has overcome his anxieties after a few sessions,” he says.
A 28-year-old man and his wife, both working as software engineers for an MNC in Hyderabad, had returned to his parents’ home in Srikakulam district as they were asked to work from home (WFH) after the first wave last year.
“During my counselling sessions, I found that the young man had fed his brain with an overdose of information on the pandemic and how it was snuffing out the lives of people. He developed anxiety and COVID phobia after the death of a relative,” says Dr. Balasubrahmanyam.
“After the counselling sessions spread over three weeks, he called up me to tell that he got over his fears, and he proved it when his parents tested COVID-19 positive later. He isolated his parents in a separate room and took good care of them, while taking care of himself and his wife by following all norms,” he says.
“There is no need to panic even if you test positive for COVID-19. A lot of misinformation is being circulated in the social media, and it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some youngsters are throwing caution to the winds while meeting friends and acquaintances. This can also contribute to the spread of the virus,” says Dr. Balasubrahmanyam.