Friday, March 31

Yes, isolation can play on your mind, Kolkata agrees with Big B

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Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s social network post on Covid-induced loneliness has found resonance among scores of Kolkata patients who are now at various stages of recovery or have just tested negative, but remain quarantined.
Cut off from families and acquaintances, often facing ostracization from neighbours, they fight a lonely battle that’s taking a toll on their mental health, they said. City psychiatrists and psychologists said they had been doing frequent online consultations with Covid patients grappling with isolation.

Whether they are quarantined at home or treated at the hospital, Covid patients can’t help but feel lonely, said psychiatrist J Ram. “The isolation is leaving them stressed, insecure and scared. This is unlike other diseases that allow family and doctors to interact with you and lend support. As Amitabh Bachchan rightly pointed out, even doctors and nurses must keep a distance from patients,” he said.

Souveek Mitra, a healthworker, shifted to a different apartment after testing positive. But he kept worrying about his elderly parents, wife and children who later tested negative, Mitra wrote in a Facebook post.

Covid patients are deprived of all human contact and positive vibes — aspects essential for treatment, according to psychologist Soumya Mukherjee. “This makes the patient’s recovery a bit tough. Also, the disease has been stigmatizing patients. Patients are holding themselves responsible for the trouble that their families and neighbours are going through,” Mukherjee said.

Ram cited the instance of a 50-year-old who tested positive a week after his wife was diagnosed with Covid-19. They were quarantined at home. “Isolated and separated at home left the couple distressed. They started suffering from hypertension and panic attacks,” Ram said.

Two weeks after he tested positive, an asymptomatic young professional had low fever. He desperately tried to contact his doctor and didn’t disclose his fever to family members lest they worry and send him to a hospital. “His doctor was unavailable and he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when he got in touch with me. Fortunately, he had recovered by then but needed counselling,” a psychologist said.

Source: Times of India

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