Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 4489-

COVID-19 and mental health


Reena Doomra 
 Department of Pharmacology, Manav Rachna Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Reena Doomra
Department of Pharmacology, Manav Rachna Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana
India




How to cite this article:
Doomra R. COVID-19 and mental health.J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:4489-4489


How to cite this URL:
Doomra R. COVID-19 and mental health. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 27 ];9:4489-4489
Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2020/9/8/4489/293094


Full Text



Dear Editor,

In your earlier issue, the letter “COVID-19 – An avoidable epidemic: A family medicine practitioner's perspective” (2020;9:2132–3) very well highlights the role of family medicine practitioners wherein they can play an important role in preventing infectious pandemics.[1] These are testing times when everyone is scared of COVID-19 pandemic, with an underlying concern regarding the mental and emotional health, as the outbreak of a global pandemic has a psychosocial bearing on the individuals. Stress and anxiety may manifest itself differently in different individuals. It appears that almost everyone has been affected by the crisis in some or the other way.

As we are in the digital era with a quick transmission and exchange of information from every corner of the world in few seconds, there may be emotional, mental, and physical problems associated with fear in the minds of people, as people are having enough time to read and listen to the news. This may lead to an increase in emotional, mental, behavioral, and physical problems in individuals.

Family medicine practitioners can play a pivotal role here by making their patients understand that some stress and anxiety is normal, during such times. Family medicine practitioners should also give importance to mental health along with physical health of their patients. They should focus on maintaining a healthy body with a healthy mind and guide them. The individuals may have overt or covert symptoms due to stress and anxiety. The overt symptoms may manifest in some individuals as physical and behavioral changes, which may include anorexia, nausea, overeating, or headache. There may be aggravation of chronic health problems, increase in alcohol intake, tobacco, or drugs like benzodiazepines. The behavioral symptoms may be associated with insomnia, irritation, or wanting to remain in isolation. Patients with obsessive compulsive disorder may have obsession of contamination of hands, leading to compulsive hand washing, which may increase during such times.[2] Covert symptoms may include emotional and cognitive aspects that manifest in an individual as undue stress and anxiety.[3]

The elderly population, people with chronic diseases, doctors,[4] nurses, and paramedical workers should be treated with respect, especially during these times of global crisis. The family medicine practitioners can greatly help our society by creating awareness about the disease and facts related to it and thus help the individuals cope up with stress and anxiety.

Thank you.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Tanwar P, Mourya M, Kumar R. COVID-19 – An avoidable epidemic: A family medicine practitioner's perspective. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:2132-3.
2Banerjee D. The other side of COVID-19: Impact on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and hoarding. Psychiatry Res 2020;288:112966.
3Galea S, Merchant RM, Lurie N. The mental health consequences of COVID-19 and physical distancing: The need for prevention and early intervention. JAMA Intern Med 2020. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1562.
4Doomra R. Healing touch of doctors – Today, tomorrow and always. J Family Med Prim Care 2019;8:3769.