Covid-19 healthcare workers at risk of developing depression, anxiety

There has been an increase in stress among health worker during the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic first emerged in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, infecting and killing millions of people.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare workers have shown remarkable resilience and professional dedication despite the fear of becoming infected, but a new study has found that more than half of Covid-19 healthcare workers are at risk for mental health problems.

What Are These Mental Health Problems?

The coronavirus pandemic first emerged in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, infecting and killing millions of people.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, highlighted that doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in Covid-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia.

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Not Everyone Will Suffer From Mental Disorder/PTSD

According to the researchers, although the majority of health care professionals and emergency responders aren't necessarily going to develop PTSD, they are working under severe duress, day after day, with a lot of unknowns.

"Some will be susceptible to a host of stress-related mental health consequences. By studying both resilient and pathological trajectories, we can build a scaffold for constructing evidence-based interventions for both individuals and public health systems," said the researcher, Andrew J. Smith from the University of Utah in the US.

For the study, the researchers surveyed 571 healthcare workers, including 473 emergency responders (firefighters, police, EMTs) and 98 hospital staff (doctors, nurses).

Increased Risk Of Acute Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, And Depression

Overall, 56 per cent of the respondents screened positive for at least one mental health disorder.

The prevalence for each specific disorder ranged from 15 per cent to 30 per cent of the respondents, with problematic alcohol use, insomnia, and depression topping the list.

In particular, the scientists found that healthcare workers who were exposed to the virus or who were at greater risk of infection because they were immunocompromised had a significantly increased risk of acute traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression.

The researchers suggest that identifying these individuals and offering them alternative roles could reduce anxiety, fear, and the sense of helplessness associated with becoming infected.

Not just the healthcare workers, the pandemic has left everyone to suffer from mental illness. Here's how it has impacted people around the world.

Effects COVID-19 Pandemic On Mental Health?

Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 itself can lead to severe mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke. People with pre-existing mental, neurological, or substance use disorders are also more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection they may stand a higher risk of severe outcomes and even death.

What Can You Do To Deal With Anxiety During Pandemic?

A structured plan for each day with clear boundaries between your working and private life will give you a sense of control amid the uncertainty. Here's what you can do to keep stress at bay during pandemics.


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