Lockdown: Staying indoors leads to spike in cases of depression

New Delhi/Noida: With lockdown leading to less interaction with the outside world and people remained inside their homes for more than a month now, there has been a significant rise in cases of depression and anxiety. In many cases, people who were suffering from depression had been unable to access antidepressants as they have old prescription from the doctors.

Moreover, higher incidence of domestic violence is also being reported during the lockdown, as people with troubled relationships are forced to be in each other's presence all the time. In a case of suicide attempt reported from Delhi-NCR, a woman tried to commit suicide as she was forced to stay with her husband in lockdown when the couple was in the last stage of their divorce.

"As many as 185 calls relating to domestic violence have been received by the Dial 112 helpline service in the Delhi-NCR during one month of lockdown starting from March 26 to April 25. However, only in handful cases the extreme domestic violence was seen where the females were beaten up by males that they needed medical intervention. Rest of the cases was resolved by the cops attached with police PRV vans," said a senior police officer of Noida police.

Apart from this, cases of suicide and suicide attempts have also increased in past one month with police receiving at least 15 related calls in past one month. Cops said that in many cases those who have committed suicide have reason of mental stress behind it.

In a few cases of suicide reported during past one month in the Delhi-NCR, a youth committed suicide after he didn't get enough likes on his TikTok videos while in another case a 24-year-old woman committed suicide after her in-laws denied her going to her parent's home due to lockdown.

According to counsellors, there has been an increase of 60 per cent in the number of calls about Covid-19 related stress and people are complaining stress due to financial woes, caeer, business loss and insecure future etc. Cases of anxiety, frustration, panic attacks, loss or sudden increase of appetite, insomnia, depression, mood swings, fear and suicidal tendencies have become quite common.

"It has been seen that negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and sadness are more contagious than positive emotions. As people are constantly talking and discussing about Coronavirus to their friends, family, relatives, neighbors and even strangers, there is significant transfer of emotion of fear and anxiety from one person to another. There is a sense of insecurity and uncertainty among people while the Social Media is also fueling up the pain," said Dr Deepali Batra, Sr consultant, clinical psychologist, Max hospital and Director PALS.

It has been observed that there is a significant rise in people suffering from depression and anxiety during lock down especially patients who were suffering from psychiatric illness before, for some the ways to handle depression during these tiring times are as follows like be busy have regular schedule, distract yourself from negative thoughts by reading, listening music, watching TV, painting, gardening or any other hobby.

"Be physically active, indoor activities like yoga, exercise, spend quality time with family members, communicate with friend and don't sit idle and brood, etc," said Dr Arti Anand, Consultant clinical psychologist Sir Gangaram hospital.

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