As the Corona Virus pandemic has rapidly spread across the world, it is inducing a considerable amount of fear and concern among the population at large. During the pandemic larger than average share of young adults and adolescents reported anxiety or depressive disorders.

Many drastic measures have been taken to prevent the spread of Viruses such as the closing of workplaces, schools, and curfew and lockdown throughout the country. However, many are finding it difficult to cope with loneliness, isolation, grief, losing the job, financial insecurities, and online classes during the pandemic which is leading to an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for psychological problems.

Aminath Nahida a licensed counselor at the Institute for Mental Wellbeing told ThePress that due to the ongoing pandemic many young adults and adolescents are seeking therapy.

“Main struggles faced by most people due to Covid-19 is the uncertainty in their jobs, financial struggles and some parents especially mothers who are struggling with online classes and parents with of special need children are very overwhelmed and physically and mentally exhausted.”

She also said, “The main areas that most people are seeking treatment are for anxiety, OCD, and depression. Many who come with symptoms of anxiety are those who have been in the Covid quarantine facilities or home quarantine.”

Police officers working on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic

A mother of two living alone explained that attending to both children's online classes at different hours of the day and sitting with them while they continue class has had a big impact on the day-to-day chores that need to be done around the house.

“It becomes very stressful and overwhelming to have to cope with bored children who have to stay inside with pent up energy as we all live in very small spaces. Sometimes have to deal with having online classes for both children at the same time, it becomes a difficulty when I am alone with them to attend both classes at the same time.”
Mother of two

How can you cope?

As the country looks to buckle up for another lockdown, the toll on mental health is beginning to become apparent. The pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in young adults and adolescents. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety grief and worry during a pandemic. Some of the things you can do to cope during the pandemic can be:-

  • Healthy diets and exercises
  • Breathing exercises and meditation
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Staying away from harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs
  • Doing activities that you enjoy
  • Connect with others While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.
  • Get vaccinated
The island of Mahibadhoo/ Photo: Social Media

Helping others cope

Taking care of yourself can better equip you to take care of others. During times of social distancing, it is especially important to stay connected with your friends and family. Helping others cope with stress through phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely or isolated. The mental issue has become a global issue since the pandemic.

According to a survey done in December 2020 by the U.S Census Bureau, 42 percent of people in their country have reported anxiety or depression in that month. Which is a huge increase from the 11 percent they had recorded in the year 2019.

Just as how we had taken measures for the raging pandemic it is wise to be ready for the wave of mental health issues that are believed to arise after the pandemic. A great way forward would be to establishing a mechanism in screening mental health issues in the atoll hospitals and island health centers for screening mental health issues. It will also be valuable to provide awareness to those who are in the atolls and islands as well as in the greater Male’

Hulhumale Medical Facility HMF

Yesterday had been a dark day in the country's fight against the pandemic with a record 13 COVID-19 deaths reported on Monday taking the death toll to 142. HPA also said that 1,417 positive cases were reported in the country yesterday taking the country's total pandemic cases to a staggering 57,341.

While there are over 24,000 active cases of the pandemic in the country right now, 282 COVID patients remained hospitalized for further treatment.