Fighting Depression In the Isolation of COVID-19

isolation 2020

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr Muhammad Ahmad Wajid, an aspiring medical student from Sahiwal Medical College, Pakistan, currently in 4th year MBBS. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Isolation at times of pandemics can seem like a dream to introverts and for others, it may be a scary dream. But no matter what type of person you are ,this isolation can lead to depression as mentioned by Stephen Ilardi, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Kansas. As a solution to a problem can only be found after the problem is acknowledged, let us see what factors are contributing to depression in isolation and how to fight them.

Feeling demotivated

You are confined to home and you don’t have to get up early to go to college or your job place. So you are not following your daily routine and you will ultimately feel demotivated at the end of the day.                            Best thing to do to avoid this is plan out your day in advance. Having a schedule of the day gives you determination to do your tasks. At the end of the day having followed routine, you are going to be motivated and ready for the next day.

Loneliness

While you may be thinking isolation and loneliness as similar terms, isolation is being cut off from people and loneliness is feeling emotionally alone and left out.

Video calling your family members and friends at regular intervals is going to help you get rid of loneliness.

Lethargy

When you have plenty of free time, it is obvious that you are going to feel lethargic. Lethargy leads to decreased ability to accomplish tasks thus contributing to depression.

Again, follow your schedule and pay special attention to at least 20 minutes a day of exercise. If gyms are closed amid pandemic, rooftop or terrace can be the best place for exercise.

Turn Negative Into Positive

If you have plenty of free time to think and you are confined too, you are going to think about fear of contracting the disease, uncertainty of isolation duration and many other negative things.

Take  this opportunity to pursue a hobby you couldn’t do because of your tight schedule. If you love reading books, you should read now. If you love pets and don’t have one, think about getting one. Spending time with your pets not only keeps you away from negative thoughts but also from loneliness.

Uncertain duration of isolation

Uncertain duration of isolation, uncertainty of your abilities to fight a pandemic can lead to depression. A UK based study done at the end of 2019 at the start of COVID-19 found that a central concern for participants was the uncertainty duration of the measures, and their ability to cope longer-term.

You should stay updated from authorized platforms only and not the social media.

Depression in Health-Care Workers

Health-care staff are found to have more incidence of depression than the normal population, being frontline warriors.

Organisational support has been found to be protective of mental health for health-care staff in general.

Conclusion

Although there are several factors which can cause depression in isolation, following your daily routine, staying positive, pursuing your hobby and use of authentic forums for getting information is very  effective.

About the author

Muhammad Ahmad Wajid is an aspiring medical student from Sahiwal Medical College currently in 4th year MBBS. Mental health and psychiatry have always fascinated him, that’s why Behavioral Sciences has been his favorite subject. He joined IFMSA with the aim of helping people and fellows by simplifying complex medical knowledge. As learning new skills is mandatory in the medical field, he has got a certificate of COVID-19 workshop (LET US BREAK CHAIN OF COVID-19 INFECTION) from The Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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Comments

  1. this is amazing post thanks for sharing information with us

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