Covid-19 has impacted mental health across the globe in significant ways. Unexpected or unplanned changes in routine, work, ways of relating and safety (physical and psychological) have challenged our coping mechanisms and made adaptation difficult. It has been postulated by famous psychologists that we as a consequence are grieving together, which has been named as “Collective Grief”.

Grief is a unique experience for each and its understanding is undergoing a rapid shift in the pandemic times. The experience of losing one’s loved one has become more traumatic due to sudden and untimely deaths and parallel unpreparedness of the health sector. Doctors and the treating team are not well equipped to cater to the emotional needs of the patient and their family members. The nature of the infection requiring the patient to be isolated makes things more difficult as social support (physical presence and touch) is minimised. Family members struggling with guilt of being unable to do the best for their loved one, be there with them in the last moments or arrange proper rituals, can leave scars deep within for a long time if not addressed appropriately.

Grief can be associated with loss of job or financial security, loss of freedom to go out of the house or meet friends, loss of leisure in terms of going for vacations, loss of a relationship and much more. Many of us are struggling to come to terms with sudden shifts in plans related to our career, job, and marriage, etc. which has taken a toll on our self-esteem, belief systems (e.g. in terms of god, world being a fair place) and sort of shaken our position in the universe. It becomes important to recognise, acknowledge and validate our feelings and experiences to have to deal with the above mentioned challenges in an effective manner. Many of us might not be aware about how our personal loss or seeing our loved ones suffer from some loss might have had an impact on us. There is a great possibility that we might have suppressed it or might not have had the time and space to attend to it.

People have reported feeling lost, frustrated, sad, disinterested, anxious, stuck and so much more after going through transitions or post difficult experiences since the lockdown began. Endless uncertainties have made situations even more hopeless. In having to cater to multiple things happening at the same time in such rapidly changing times, people usually experience an inability to process emotions well or might feel too overwhelmed to do something about it. Counselling and therapy is one way you could find a safe space to talk about what you are/were going through. We, the best mental health center in Pune, offer that safe space for you.

When you realise things are difficult, slowing down a little and giving time to yourself might be essential in order to prevent permanent damage. Coming to terms with your vulnerabilities might seem the most difficult to do, but seeking help will make the journey easier and provide ways you could look at life afresh and achieve things you aspire for.