Psychological impact of COVID-19 lockdown on mental health and behaviour

Author : Viswa S, Sivasakthi K, Velsreeya Raj R, Tamil Selvan S

Background: Novel Corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and resultant lockdown due to increased spread of virus were likely to cause negative mental health problems ranging from anxiety, fear, depressive symptoms, sense of loneliness, sleep disturbances among the public. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the fear, perceived stress, and psychological problems related to lockdown due to COVID‑19 infection in India. Materials and methods: An online survey was conducted among 246 people to evaluate how lockdown had affected one’s emotions, feelings, and behaviors in different aspects of life using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Out of 246 participants, 61.8% (152) were males and 38.2% (94) were females. Due to lockdown, the respondents were sometimes affected mentally by worrying about getting infection (41.9%), checking COVID-19 spread data (73.2%), difficulty in sleeping (19.1%), difficult to get essentials (44.3%), worried or in stress due to economic condition and jobless (56.9%), excessive use of mobile phones and TV(59.8%), experiencing high level of loneliness(27.6%), feeling high level of anxiety, stress and sadness(28.9%) and loud arguments or fight with other family members(22%). Perceived Stress Scale also shows positive correlation that most of the respondents were sometimes affected due to COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Conclusion: This study has revealed various risk factors of mental health during COVID-19 lockdown which helps mental health workers to strategize and deliver interventional methods to maintain psychosocial wellbeing of the population.

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