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COVID-19 Impact: People with mental problems in stress, new cases to rise

Many people have experienced different mental problems like anxiety disorder and stress disorder as an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, children are suffering from irritation and internet addiction.
people in queue to recieve food relief distributed by Food bank palpa picture- Sushila Regmi

By Sanchita Ghimire, KATHMANDU:-  With the COVID-19 crisis deepening and subsequent measures in places to limit public activities, people who are on medication for mental problems have witnessed further stress and anxiety while the new cases are on the rise.

Many people have experienced different mental problems like anxiety disorder and stress disorder as an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, children are suffering from irritation and internet addiction. Many such people have no access to health facilities due to lack of transportation, according to the Mental Hospital of Patan.

Chief consultant psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr. Ananta Prasad Adhikari informed that the people are stressed also because of differing information about COVID-19: what it is, how it affects people.

The confusion created around the coronavirus was detrimental because the government was urging people to be alert citing rising cases of infection, while some experts were arguing that COVID-19 was not a disease. “Such contradictory information is creating utter uncertainty and delusion,” he observed.

The people who have been regularly taking medicine for mental problems were not able to access the hospital for follow up owing to the prohibitory order in many districts.

“Difficulty to access health facility has created new cases and worsened the old ones,” he added. According to him, the students for lack of schooling have developed sleeplessness and headache. They are also getting addicted to the internet. The mental illness is caused by the environmental impact, which currently is COVID-19.

There are less than 200 psychiatrists in Nepal, which is a little number to serve the needy ones. Dr. Adhikari suggested that if the medical officers in the health facilities were provided basic training on mental illness, it would be helpful to identify the problem on time.

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