World mental health day: Caused by a pandemic anxiety disorders panic attacks, phobias, and OCD are on the rise among people amid fear of the third wave, school reopening, and working from home with all family members working from the same location. Dr. Sonal Anand, psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, says she has especially noticed a surge in panic attacks, phobias and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) lately, with people who previously suffered from these disorders returning with a steady rise in new cases. …
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety. anxiety and fear, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to WHO.
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “a relatively high rate of anxiety symptoms (6.33% to 50.9%), depression (14.6% to 48.3%), PTSD (7% to 53.8%), psychological distress (34.43% to 38%) and stress (8.1% to 81%) 9%) are reported in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic in China, Spain, Italy, Iran, the United States, Turkey, Nepal and Denmark. “
A new Lancet study also confirms that the number of serious depressive and anxiety disorders has increased significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study found that depressive and anxiety disorders increased by 35% in India.
Dr Anand says the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic could be fueling an increase in anxiety cases. “I have a lot of cases of panic attacks. Panic attacks are short bursts of fear or anxiety that last about five minutes. You feel that something is going to happen to you, you are about to die, or you are going to have a heart attack. Sometimes this is accompanied by agoraphobia, the fear of being among a large number of people or crowded places, ”says the psychiatrist.
There has also been an increase in the number of cases of OCD in which people are unable to control certain obsessive thoughts. “I’ve seen people wash their hands over and over again, even when they don’t go outside and touch nothing. People with OCD also have a need to clean things up all the time. People who previously suffered from this problem are returning as the number of new cases of OCD grows, ”says Dr. Anand.
Children also suffer from the fact that they cannot go out and play, go to school and remain chained to the screen. Cases of domestic violence against them have also become more frequent.
“While screen addiction is a temporary problem, the bigger problem is that parents lose their cool and beat their children. There is a general feeling of irritability as children are at home all the time and parents cannot deal well with the situation, ”he said. – says Dr. Anand.