We all are aware of how deadly the Pandemic is and social distancing is only the way to go; it’s been months that people are hemmed inside their homes. People are in a disturbed state of mind and if that wasn’t enough to add to misery to the wounds the entire economy has to suffer huge losses. There is less hope yet for anything to get better soon. The economic crises have led to a number of mental health issues due to unemployment, poor financial conditions, downsizing in the companies, and for some people, their entire industry has been ribbed apart.
However, the governments of the states seem to stress enough about the economy of the country. But how much importance they are giving to mental health? If any at all. Why do people consider mental health next to all other areas of concern?
The COVID-19 and the economic crises are causing serious challenges to the mental health of the individuals. If we take historical figures into consideration, we can compare the deteriorating mental health in the 2008 recession with this. But this time it has been estimated that the current crises have surpassed the one that took place in 2008 in terms of financial losses.
Few pieces of research show that when people struggle with extreme financial crises the mental health is affected as people start feeling less hopeful for a better future. This struggle takes the form of too much stress, then becoming dependent on intoxicating substances, and then leads to depression, and suicidal tendencies, and other mental issues and disorders. We are trying to list a few mental health issues that the economic crises have bought into our lives during the pandemic.
Impact of Uncertainy on Psychological Wellbeing
As it is obvious, the pandemic is causing an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding the state of the country’s economy. The fear caused by this uncertainty, combined with isolation and social distancing, has caused a lot of stress among people. We may argue that people can still connect with their loved ones via the use of technology but we have to be mindful of the fact that virtual connections cannot take place of real intimacy.
With the social distancing initiative, people are living away at distant from their families. And a lot of them have not met their loved ones for more than 6 months now. And they are uncertain how close they can get to their children or elders.
Studies have shown that every uncertainty has a detrimental effect on the mental health of individuals which affects the happiness and satisfaction of people. The statement when read with other studies refers to the conclusion that positive experiences are a result of affectionate relations and lack of social pressure, and the contradiction of that results in negative emotions.
Simply put, the pandemic has impacted the psychological well-being of individuals and pushing them into a constant state of despair.
The disturbed Social Identity of the working class
Several theories on the internet state that individuals attach their identity to the groups they belong to (their workgroups). People used to have a very fast life. Their profession makes up for the social identity of the individuals. The effect of crises on jobs has damaged this social identity of people.
Unfortunately, with outbreak of coronavirus, people are not enjoying this social identity association. People now are living confined inside their houses. This not only disturbs the routine they earlier had of networking with groups but also amends the mental stability of individuals. The crises are absolutely worse especially for people who already faced issues regarding identity crises in the past.
The Link Between Poor Financial Status and the Increase in Addiction to Substances
Ironically, while every business is facing tough times during covid, the businesses selling alcohol or cigarettes are relieved. It has also been depicted in books, movies, and other entertainment media that people start getting themselves intoxicated to keep their spirits buoying or keep themselves distracted. In fact, increased use of alcohol and substances is becoming a norm. We cannot stress enough that there is a strong connection between Economic Crises and Substance Abuse. It is not surprising that when people experience high stress especially financial stress they start depending on intoxicating substances.
Mental Health Issues
Well, this goes without saying that not everybody is affected by covid in the same way or to the same degree. Many people had pay cuts or were laid off from their jobs, and for many, it has impacted their physical and mental health. Hence, depression, depressive-anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues among the population have also risen.
From depression, for some, it further leads to suicidal tendencies and other mental disorders. Studies show that with the increase in unemployment, the suicide rates also increased at 28%, reporting the cause of suicide as extreme financial pressures.
Unsatisfactory Role of Governments
Unfortunately, the governments of several nations are not giving as much importance to this issue as required. Some countries have also reduced their funding in the mental healthcare sector due to the suffering economy. However, governments are taking good initiatives too like lockdown or smart lockdowns. We can’t directly blame them for poor management because this issue is unique in history. Yet, some countries can learn from other countries who have been more successful in controlling situations, like New Zealand.
Considering, that unemployment and economic crises increased the rate of depression and suicide in society. It is direly important for the government to give this issue more importance. And take further smart steps to control the situation.
Mental health is a significant part of public health and most countries at this time are struggling with that. The economic crises have caused great amounts of stress to the general public to deal with. This high level of stress is causing depression, depressive anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, identity crises, and many more. Governments are working hard but still, they aren’t able to control the damages caused by this unprecedented epidemic. Thus, it is everybody’s responsibility to play his or her role. We should look out for our neighbors and help them in cases of need whatever you can. If not this or more, what one thing you must do is take care of yourself and your mental health first.
Mental Health Matters