Brain Strain

Quarantine impacts mental health worldwide

Brain+Strain

Ava Gallucci, Junior Writer

Different is how many people would describe 2020, likely due to the impact Covid-19 has had on the world. While the physical effects of the virus are heavily discussed, the psychological effects are lesser known. With a majority of the population not used to staying home for a long period of time, a change in mental state is expected and important to address.

Common mental health problems people are facing due to the pandemic include depression, anxiety, stress, concentration issues and trouble sleeping, as well as recurring feelings of hopelessness, sadness and fear.

“…It was like a big shock in the face and I felt as if most of the time I was really down and not myself,” sophomore Elissa Deban said.

Not everyone experiences these cognitive effects equally, however. Women, people with less than average income levels and healthcare workers are more likely to have negative feelings like stress and sadness due to quarantining. Among students, elementary-age kids were more likely to have behavioral disorders, while teens had more problems with depression and anxiety.

These different groups are affected differently due to a multitude of factors. People making low incomes and students became more mentally afflicted because the pandemic caused resources for mental health help, such as counselors, to become unaccessible to them. Healthcare workers experienced mental issues due to trauma and stress that were related to working with coronavirus patients. 

Interestingly, there are patterns that have become associated with specific mental health predicaments during quarantine. At the start of the quarantine, stronger negative feelings were present, but became less severe as time went on.  

“I’ve definitely gotten better since quarantine ended and now that there’s a regular schedule to my life I’m actually doing work or things that are important,” junior Alexa Cristobal said.

Various causes exist for these highs and lows in mental state among those quarantined.  Restrictions on essential supplies, decreased social interaction and limited knowledge about the virus itself is correlated to heightened levels of anger, stress, sadness and frustration.  

“The quarantine has sort of a drab feeling, and sometimes I get a little lonely since I’m not able to see my friends so often,” sophomore Morgan Jowett said.

Although quarantine measures are ongoing, previously tested solutions to these common mental troubles are recommended. Taking care of your physical health by getting enough food, exercise and sleep as well as keeping constant communication and a routine can also improve mental condition. 

“…Students can always speak to their teacher, counselor or any caring adult they know. Students can also access the Adolescents Outreach Program (AOP) we offer at Ford…For more information, a student can ask their teacher or counselor about the program or they can look for the message that was sent in Schoology…” counselor Catherine Livingston said.

As more people become quarantined long-term to prevent the physical effects of Covid-19, the virus’ impact on mental health becomes clearer. It is of utmost importance to know how people can be affected and how to mitigate these complications to ensure a healthier, happier world during the pandemic and beyond.