Quarantine can lead to mental health issues: How To Cope?

Quarantine and isolation have become buzzwords in these times of Covid-19 pandemic. A majority of persons who have either tested positive for Covid-19 or are close contacts of positive patients are ending up in quarantine in their homes.


For many people who are in home quarantine, it could be stressful, taxing and a distressing experience. Living alone cut-off from family members and the society triggers anxiety, increases stress and become a reason for triggering major mental health concerns.


Health-related depression and anxiety: The most common condition that could arise during quarantine is anxiety, which happens due to uncertainty of outcome, fear of turning positive on testing and stigma. It can range from mild to severe, often leading to panic attacks. 


Fear of hospital quarantine: Quite often, people see it as a threat when faced with inevitability of staying in hospital quarantine, which can be a significant traumatic event that could trigger acute stress disorder. People exposed to hospital quarantine have a higher risk of later development of PTSD. Such people will be constantly bogged down by thoughts like whether they have performed their duties adequately, fear of death, apprehension towards the family�s reaction to one�s death, guilt, etc.


How To Cope?


1. Keep quarantine as short as possible based on the knowledge of the incubation period.
2. Seek as much information as possible about the infection and rationale behind the quarantine.
3. Quarantined people must have accurate and unambiguous information about the nature of the problem.
4. Avoid speculation and break the chain of rumours during the hospital quarantine.
5. Screen for pre-existing medical, psychiatric and substance use disorder conditions.
6. Access to family and friends through mobile phones is vital.