Published on March 25, 2020

Ahmedabad: Nayanesh Patel (name changed), a resident of Satellite, had a tough time adjusting to quarantine routine for the first few days – waking up and getting ready, having breakfast in bed, catching up with work, having a meal, watching a movie, catching up with friends – and trying to sleep. What he’s incapable of doing is stopping thinking about the next day and what the future holds for him and his family while in his solitary self-confinement.

As the state today has 11,108 persons under 14-day home quarantine, their mental health is a growing concern for not only their families but society.

Dr Kalrav Mistry, a city-based psychiatrist, said individuals have difficulty dealing with uncertainty. “As Covid-19 is a new phenomenon, we don’t know what to expect. It leads to anxiety. Its different how different individuals cope with it. Thus, along with the physical well-being of these individuals, their mental well-being is equally important for their recuperation and assimilation in society,” he said.

Thus, the Government Hospital for Mental Health (GHMH) on Tuesday conducted a special session for health workers and caregivers with emphasis on coping with Covid-19.

Dr Ajay Chauhan, medical superintendent, GHMH, said those who are termed positive and those who in quarantine have a lot of questions and apprehension. “They are influenced by images in the media and have fears about what can happen to them. 

Thus, it’s important that immediate caregivers understand this condition and try to quell their distress,” he said.

He added that in some cases, epidemics can also lead to post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Mental health professionals will provide telephonic counselling and also visit these persons if necessary. We will also follow up with patients after they are out of quarantine,” said Dr Chauhan.

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