Trends and predictions for the future of mental health

Covid-19 has emphasised the importance of mental health

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As the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic looms large, life restriction could enhance more trouble for working class of India. The pandemic has emphasised the importance of mental health and has altered the healthcare landscape. 

During the pandemic, demand for mental health services skyrocketed. Recent trends in the healthcare community show that there has been a substantial increase in the online education sphere with increased access to healthcare. Needless to say, both are proportionately increasing.

In 2021, Olympic athletes, celebrities, and other public figures came forward about their mental health, helping to reduce stigma. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, mental health is expected to remain a top priority in 2022, say experts. 

While mental health technologies exploded during Covid-19, the trend had already begun before the pandemic. In 2019, there were over 10,000 mental health-related smartphone apps available to assess the behavioural techniques of the patients. 

With the rise of mental health technologies during Covid-19, the trend is gaining traction and becoming less stigmatised with increased health screenings.

"According to recent trends in mental health, personal hygiene patterns have shifted as depression, anxiety and PTSD, and even sensory processing disorders have an impact on our personal hygiene," said a senior doctor in Kolkata.

Furthermore, children and the elderly have been affected by the pandemic, resulting in the loss of relationships and social networks. Many children have been abused at home, leaving them psychologically vulnerable and traumatised. Many are now struggling academically as a result of increased exposure to pornography, violence, and video games, which has impacted young children. Many paediatric neurologists asking the same questions to every child visiting them, "What is the progress report of your wards?"

Aside from that, adult people are looking for geographic flexibility and, in some cases, a return to in-person office work since 'work from home' has been isolating and anxiety-inducing for many.

According to the research of a psychotherapist in Kolkata, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is caused by a genetic-environmental interaction. The stress of Covid-19 is likely to trigger or worsen OCD in people who have a genetic predisposition to some forms of OCD (for example, contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions). Unless they receive appropriate mental health treatment, some of these people will develop chronic germophobia.

People’s “money mindset” has shifted, and they now want to invest in “meaningful activities”, which is more spending and less hoarding. There is a trend toward reconnecting with friends and family. Some are even suffering from social anxiety as a result of being isolated and used to being alone.

It is critical for parents to learn about attachment parenting and work on their relationships with their children, which provide them with opportunities and space to express their feelings on a daily basis. Buying books on emotions for young children and reading to them every few days, as well as discussing it with the child, is an activity highly recommended. Teens need a lot of help because many of them have struggled during the pandemic. Instead of pressuring children to become pandemic-ready, acknowledge the changes that have occurred and collaborate with the child to help them cope.

“It is critical to acknowledge that the pandemic had an impact on all of us in some way. We must stop striving for pre-pandemic state and instead focus on current challenges and strengths, as well as how we can shape our lives to accommodate the changes that have occurred,” says Mansi Poddar, certified Psychotherapist and founder of Mansi Therapy.

“People’s fear of death and loss is a major issue in the mental health field, in my opinion. This is what we are left with as a result of the trauma. It is necessary to work with such fears, but will we ever be completely free of them? No. As a result, therapy is critical. And it must be treated in the same manner as physical treatment. As a necessity”, she added.

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