Udayavni Special

COVID-19: People go on anticipating worst scenarios, says NIMHANS Director


Team Udayavani, Apr 7, 2020, 8:25 AM IST

Bengaluru: “What if I get coronavirus, will my kin contract this disease?” “What if I get the illness but because of the lockdown, I am not able to reach the hospital? “When I reach the hospital, will I get ventilator support?, will doctor be available or not to treat me? “When I die (from Coronavirus), will anybody come to cremate my body? Will I be stigmatised ? Hospitals treating COVID-19 cases, doctors attending on patients and help-lines have been receiving calls of this kind over the past few days from anxious and concerned people worried over the pandemic.

“People go on anticipating worst scenarios, this has to be broken. This is a cycle of concern which will snowball into worst preoccupation”, a mental health expert told PTI.

Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, B N Gangadhar, who has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the field of mental health from both clinical and academic perspectives, terms such concerns as normal reactions to unusual situations.

“Majority in this condition get better, almost 95 percent of them become all right. Its a good thing, whatever the illness (those anxious), its a short-lived illness, not more than a fortnight to a month, it leaves no scar, unlike HIV, it comes and goes, there is no need for panic, the recipient of the Padmashri award said.

Referring to the ongoing lock-down in the country, Gangadhar, a senior professor of Psychiatry, pointed out that the Government was not in support of most bandhs in the past, and people had freedom to go about.

Now, its government has ordered that we remain indoors. And that came rather unexpectedly. Such (ongoing) lockdown hitherto no one has experienced. What we have not experienced is uncertainty of numbers of days (of the lockdown), he noted, referring to the people’s anxiety, he said.

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