Phobias are pretty commonly encountered in patients all over the world. It is interesting to note that the type of phobia has a strong bearing on the style of upbringing, parental personalities, intrafamilial belief systems, adolescent development, the personality of the individual in question, coping skills and the degree of self-growth.
However, Corona Phobia, though can be labelled as a Specific (Isolated) Phobia, has acquired a different dimension altogether, primarily, because it is a pandemic, highly contagious and it is raging for more than a year, without any abatement in sight. There is one more crucial reason and that is the lack of clear information on the source, progress, prognosis and control of the Pandemic.
In a typical case of Corona Phobia, the patient manifests intense fear of contracting the disease along with fright regarding disability, death and the spread of the disease inside the family.
Corona Phobia in itself is fast turning out to be 'psychologically infectious' and that is because of vulnerability and constant exchanges about matters related to the disease.
According to our findings, the media's continual preoccupation with the virus and the pandemic has triggered a 'tsunami of fear' amongst people.
COVID PANDEMIC & ANXIETY
Anxiety is a natural part of human existence. However, as is well-known, some anxiety can be sparked off by a specific disturbing situation. In that way, anxiety related to the pandemic has largely to do with the fright of contracting the disease, the fright of intrafamilial spread, fear of forced self - isolation and the general anxiety palpable in the society.
INDIVIDUAL IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
This Covid Pandemic has affected all of us badly. It has not only imposed must-follow restrictions of various kinds, but with the rigid Covid - appropriate behaviour and strict sanitization protocol, it has made all of us housebound and demoralized as we are unable to engage in our usual accustomed pattern of social activities.
The pandemic has also made us labour under boredom and drudgery of imposed restrictions on our mobility and free social interactions.
PSYCHOSOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE PANDEMIC
A disease afflicting an individual puts various restrictions, in general. Covid Pandemic has generated a visible degree of disgruntlement amongst the masses, as they are forced to follow instructions that are not to the liking of the people as it has acted as a nemesis to their carefree life. With the consequent slump in the economy, common people and business houses are hard hit. With the closure of schools, offices and establishments, everyone is seriously in trouble. In the wake of the pandemic, we are witnessing a total change in the way people think, behave and act. For most the tightening of regulations and frequent lockdowns, which are entirely unavoidable, have smothered the lives of people triggering unhappiness and disenchantment.
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER IN TIMES OF COVID PANDEMIC
OCD as a mental ailment is quite common in all human societies. Now with the sudden advent of the Corona Virus and its virulent infectivity, the pandemic has given way to a massive rise in the incidence of OCD for the simple reason that the sanitization measures that we are being forced to follow are related to cleanliness and ritualistic behaviour. When one considers the inner psychodynamics and the core phenomenology of OCD as a neurotic diathesis, we are bound to find a close correlation between the coming of the pandemic and the sharp increment in the incidence of OCD.
IMPACT ON SEXUAL FUNCTIONING
With strict restrictions in place on social distancing, the pandemic has gradually influenced the sexual lives of couples as many are scared of contracting the disease through close contact.
In a recently concluded study, I and my team found as we have hypothesized that the incidence of Covid 19 has affected on average, more than 2 people in almost all families that we have seen.
Now with a new report of Corona Virus being found in the saliva and sputum, has triggered a fresh round of fear amongst many and are afraid of intimacies.
In fact, we encountered quite a few couples, who are refraining from engaging in sexual intercourse, as they are scared that the Corona Virus could be present in the semen and in the vagina. Though, as of now, there are no definitive reports of the virus being present in the semen or cervical mucus.
As we have expected and surmised initially, we have found that a sizable number of couples who are in difficult or abusive relationships are refraining from engaging in sexual behaviour with the 'pretext' of contracting or spreading the disease to the other partner.
Covid Pandemic in my view has affected humanity in various ways and it's there to be seen.