Stress, anxiety on the rise over concern for family’s health: Study

Mental health professionals say that there is an universal increase in anxiety due to the Coronavirus pandemic and it is understandable that the pandemic would stress out individuals in Goa and other states.

As Covid-19 cases continue to increase at a rapid pace, a month-long study conducted by Sangath which started in June, found that stress and depression are also being reported. Significantly, fear about family members contracting the virus has emerged as a bigger worry compared to the fear of suffering from Covid-19.

Mental health professionals say that there is an universal increase in anxiety due to the Coronavirus pandemic and it is understandable that the pandemic would stress out individuals in Goa and other states.

“The study will run during and post the pandemic to capture short and long term mental health and social outcomes. We will repeat assessments at 3,6,9,12 months post pandemic too,” said Urvita Bhatia, Research Fellow, Sangath.

Between June 11 and July 10, Sangath’s addictions research group, through a survey, reached out to around 673 individuals in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi. Most respondents are from Goa and Delhi, and are in the 18 to 40 years age bracket.

Though the study and its results are in the preliminary stage, the researchers noted that 83% of the respondents reported feeling moderate to high levels of stress, and almost 30% reported symptoms associated with depression.

Though 98% of the respondents reported that they are Covid-19 free, 38% of them said that they are worried about family members contracting Covid-19. Much to the surprise of the researchers, fear of being infected and dying due is the least cause of anxiety, with financial burden being a larger worry.

The survey showed that 23% of the respondents were worried about infecting others but only 9% were worried about dying from Covid.

“Respondents report feeling least in control of their physical and mental health, and their future plans. They reported the greatest feelings of control over their relationships with their partners and families,” Sangath said in the preliminary results.

Of the respondents, 54% found that their life is significantly different with just 3% saying that they see no difference.

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