DEPRESSION: Alert on mental health crisis caused by quarantine.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Depression is a common disease throughout the world, and it is estimated that it affects more than 300 million people”, an increase of more than 18% compared to 2005 data. , This figure tells us about its scope and the consequences it has not only on health itself, but on productivity, the economy, social organizations, and public and private spending on health services.
Estimates from the Castilla-la Mancha college of psychologists in Spain reflect that “by 2030 depressive syndromes will be the main cause of work disability”, surpassing musculoskeletal disorders; the data on health effects being even more serious. Figures from the WHO explain that in the worst case it can lead to suicide, revealing that “each year about 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in the 15 to 29 age group”.
This mental health situation seems to have worsened during the pandemic declared in March 2020 by the different international organizations. The same World Health Organization (WHO) launched an alert on the need to take precautions to preserve mental health in these times when the world tries to reduce the effects of Covid 19. Latin America not escaped from this reality; the number of people cared for depressive symptoms is on the rise compared to other mental disorders.
During the evaluations of the cases diagnosed with depression, it has been possible to identify that among the most frequent triggering stressors of the disease are:
Social isolation, which prevents or makes it difficult for the person to carry out productive activities, access emotional support, reduces social interactions and reduces the possibilities of economic income. The increase in fear of the contagion of Covid 19 and the death of family and friends is also evidenced.
This observation allows psychologists to make recommendations for the prevention of depression during the world quarantine, with prevention being the best way to approach the solution.
1. It is important to maintain communication with family and friends, for this it is suggested to use digital resources such as social networks and technological platforms, in addition to continuing interpersonal contact with the care indicated by the health services.
2. Avoid passivity or unproductiveness. It is important to maintain a productive routine; exercise, perform domestic activities, study, and work, undertake a commercial project, provide some service to other people, and dedicate quality time to family members.
3. When feeling sad, it is important to seek emotional support from trusted people. This will help to express emotions, to feel understood and to clarify the mind to make decisions that help to solve situations that can be sources of stress.
4. In the presence of symptoms such as pessimism, inactivity, passivity and sadness, it is important to access professional help online or in person (cognitive psychologist or psychiatrist).
Taking care of mental health is decisive in these times of biological risk, since it has important consequences on the well-being of each person, in addition to the proven effects on the immune system. So maintaining good mental health means being better prepared to face Covid19.
By: Jesus Hernandez