Psychologists proving to serve an important role during COVID-19 pandemic

Ray BukhariReporter

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus caused many changes in the daily life and behaviors of individuals, especially with staying at home and social distancing being declared some of the best ways to reduce the spread of the virus.

Staying at home has different psychological effects on all individuals due to the change in routine, which makes some people feel negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, anger and frustration. 

Psychologist Jasmine Kamal said the pandemic has many psychological effects, including the lack of feeling economic, social and health security while quarantined.

“It is very important not to lose sight of the psychological factor and the role of the psychologist during the pandemic,” Kamal said. 

Adapting to lifestyle changes, managing the fear of contracting the virus and worrying about people close to us who are vulnerable are challenging and can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

“In fact, the role of the specialist, counselor and psychiatrist is no less important than the role of doctors and nurses during COVID-19,” mental health specialist at Cleveland Clinic Ammar Al-Tamimi said. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rates of anxiety, fear, frustration and depression have risen, especially while the number of people infected has reached 7,823,289 cases around the world.

“This will increase fear and delusion of diseases, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder,” Al-Tamimi said. “All these concerns will increase with the normal person, and of course it will increase more in people who suffer from mental disorders.”

According to Psychiatric Times, 75 percent of psychiatric patients diagnosed with mental illnesses before the pandemic have an increased degree of symptoms due to extreme fear and delusion. 

“Prevention is the key to surviving this pandemic,” Al-Tamimi said. “The more the person takes his medical precautions such as sanitation, not touching surfaces, staying at home and social distancing, the more he will be safe.” 

Princess Williams, a psychologist from Chicago, said the role of psychological specialists will also be important after the pandemic.

“We will also have many cases of people who suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress after the pandemic,” Williams said. “These people might be those who have been infected with the virus or the people who come in contact with them.” 

In order to help people cope during and after the pandemic, Disaster Distress Helpline provides communities and responders with behavioral health resources that help them prepare, respond and recover from disasters. 

“Psychological support is an essential part of the human being and an essential part of the signs of mental health,” Williams said. “It is a demand and a need for every human being and for everyone who needs it at this difficult time.”

Contact Ray Bukhari at [email protected]