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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

More attention needed for mental health amid Covid-19 pandemic: health official


Several studies have shown a significant link between negative changes in mental health and the coronavirus pandemic. 

More attention is needed for mental health issues as many continue to face psychological pressures and economic challenges in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, a doctor at Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has said.

In recent years, the devastating challenges caused by the pandemic— including deaths, health fears, economic strife and physical social isolation – have taken a toll on mental health for millions around the world.

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The impact has underscored the urgent need to understand the challenges and concerns experienced by the community amid the ongoing pandemic, with researchers now investigating the causes and impacts of pre-longed stress and fear due to the health crisis.

Statistics by the US Census Bureau in December reported that over 42% of people surveyed reported new symptoms of anxiety and depression in the United States, an increase of 11% compared to the previous year.

Other data globally reported roughly the same results, with a prominent increase noted as a common dominator.

Majd Al Shami, a psychologist at Leabaib Health Center of the PHCC, said there has been an increase in psychological disorders due to the pandemic in recent years, with social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder being the most prominent diagnoses.

The symptoms reported include increased heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, sweating and tremor in hands, feet, or the whole body, redness or yellowness of the face in the case of brown skin, dry throat, dizziness, lack of concentration and forgetfulness.

This could be due to high stress levels and constant need to abide by health precautionary measures for safety reasons. Social isolation, including quarantine and lockdowns, as well as the the significant decrease in physical interaction could’ve also played a role in affecting people’s mental health.

The health expert stressed that in order to maintain the psychological well-being of the community, more attention and support is needed for mental health issues in the upcoming years.

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