Here’s How Isolation Can Affect Your Mental Health
Physical distancing has undoubtedly worked wonders for the most part in controlling the pandemic spread. And this has led to far more mental and emotional issues than ever before. In a bid to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, mainly responsible for COVID-19, deeper problems like depression, isolation, and loneliness have become part and parcel of life.
In some conditions, the usual symptoms of depression and anxiety have even manifested themselves into larger ones. Yes, the ones like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, too, to name a few. Socializing at a distance, via phone calls, or using online platforms is a must to ward off such ailments, as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’ll surely pay off knowing the little titbits about aspects that concern our lives to a considerable degree at present for those who are new to this.
The Link Between Mental Health And Isolation
WHO has laid down that social support networks go a long way in determining our health’s positive impact. Had it not been for this virus, we would have never taken these issues seriously! Even several countries have now kept loneliness as one of the chief health priorities. Man is a social being and maintaining social connections is vital to one’s physical and mental health.
Survival strategies and complete well-being mean one must foster positive relationships, as per researchers. Unfortunately, issues like loneliness and isolation may assume larger proportions in manic depressive disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, and more. Certain physical conditions like cancers and heart diseases can also lead to developing loneliness.
Risks Are Bigger For Senior People
Health organizations worldwide have demonstrated exactly how beneficial it is to resort to physical distancing without understanding the mental issues. Particularly for older adults, this has been a difficult time to deal with isolation. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers came to a basic estimate that isolation affected a significant population of close to 8 million elderly! Older adults experience life changes more frequently than their younger counterparts.
Naturally, chances of loneliness for them increase manifold. For example, children leaving the nest, widowhood, retirement, and age-related health issues often lead to breaking social ties. As a result, socializing takes a backseat. In addition to that, aging is inevitable. So are underlying health conditions or risk factors that cause this age bracket to become particularly susceptible to COVID-19 symptoms.
Now that wide disparity exists in terms of how senior citizens dealt with aging earlier and now. Societal trends also lead to disconnection. Think of the average household size or couples deciding not to conceive, and you will know how aloofness is in demand! Added to that are lifestyle factors like living alone, being single, getting divorced, not marrying, and so on.
Possible Signs And Symptoms Of Isolation-Induced Conditions
A person’s mental health is dependent on several factors. This includes anxiety level, aggressive behavior, decreased sleep, cognitive impairment, memory loss, self-neglect, etc. Every person is different, even when they’re in the same age bracket! So loneliness or isolation and their consequences can occur at different times in different people.
As they say, ‘when there’s a will, there’s away. There are multiple routes to connect with people of the same age group or across varied sectors to reduce the ill effects of loneliness. It’s all about improving one’s mental health. Make it a point to reach out as much as possible to your near and dear ones like friends, lovers, and relatives.
Now that multiple platforms exist in the form of phone and text, video chat platforms, mail, and social media- it has become fairly easy to derive happiness being in the company of your close set of people. Of course, not really, but virtually!
Anyone who’s experiencing the debilitating effects of loneliness or siltation should immediately seek help from a therapist or doctor. After all, consistently worrying or stressing, not focusing, feeling restless or irritable and recurrence of suicidal thoughts are not right. If you find anyone not taking proper care of themselves, it is time to offer help. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help and taking care of your mental health. Because at the end of the day, your mental well-being is as important as your physical well-being.
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