As cases of SARS-CoV-2 continue to climb amid the emergence of new variants, a new survey suggests COVID-19 led to considerable impacts on the mental health of Irish-Indian populants, with social media potentially contributing to decreased mood, anxiety, and sleep.
To assess the purported impact COVID-19 had on the mental health of Indian descendants residing in Ireland, Mental Daily conducted an online survey among 208 Irish adults in early September 2021. The respondents were between the ages of 18 and 65, with nearly a similar amount of male (52%) and female (48%) recruitment.
The Psychological Impact Of A Pandemic
The survey found that 77% of respondents reported experiencing decreased mood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and about 76% saw a considerable increase in anxiety. 73% say they experienced higher levels of stress and fatigue than usual since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 56% of respondents experienced a considerable decline in their overall state of well-being, with only 44% of respondents reporting experiencing positive well-being.
The survey also uncovered that the majority of respondents had excessively consumed news coverage surrounding COVID-19 via social media (61%), potentially contributing to a considerable decrease in mental well-being.
Overall, the respondents were assessed for a range of psychological impacts, including effects on their state of well-being, anxiety, sleep, and sociability since the start of the pandemic, along with social impacts directly attributed to the pandemic, such as major changes to occupational status, income and revenue, and marital/interpersonal relationships.
The findings suggest a considerable COVID-19 impact on the mental health of Irish residents of Indian descent, with excessive consumption of social media potentially contributing to the negative effects measured in the study.
In the midst of the survey’s release, we asked Dr. Pradeep Chadha, an integrative psychiatrist based in Dublin, Ireland, about the COVID-19 impact on the mental health of Irish-Indians. Dr. Chadha stated that Irish-Indians are most vulnerable to certain neuropsychiatric conditions, but as a result of their culture and tradition, they are resilient.
“Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are the most debilitating conditions affecting Irish-Indians due to COVID-19,” Dr. Chadha told Mental Daily. “But as a culture, Indians are resilient. They have the reputation to come out of adverse situations.”
“Usually, Irish-Indians have good extended family support, even from family members not living in Ireland,” Dr. Chadha affirmed. “This time around too, the Irish-Indians are going to come out of the impact of COVID-19, with this inherent resilience.”
- As many as 76% of respondents had their sleep quality and duration considerably affected, directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 24% did not report any major changes to sleep habits.
- 77% of respondents reported experiencing considerably decreased mood since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- 76% saw a considerable increase in anxiety.
- Nearly 73% of respondents experienced considerably higher levels of stress and fatigue than normal due to the pandemic.
- 56% of respondents reported experiencing a considerable decline in overall well-being since the start of the pandemic, while 44% saw no negative effects on well-being.
- 61% reported being excessively preoccupied with social networking sites for consumption of COVID-19 related news coverage and updates. The most visited sites for news consumption included YouTube (39%), Facebook (28%), Twitter
(25%), and Reddit (8%).
- When asked about the impacts on occupational status directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% reported some changes in employment. 74% also reported income impacts as a result of the pandemic.
- 80% of respondents reported some impact on marital or interpersonal relationships.
Maintaining Wellness During A Pandemic
- Focus on the positivity: We have a tendency to focus too much on the negative aspects of life. A more positive outlook on life necessitates effort. A great way to increase one’s positive outlook in life is to journal three things that went well that day each evening. Upon doing this, over time, you will develop a stronger interaction between your thoughts and feelings, resulting in a more positive outlook on life and an overall improvement in your well-being.
- Build resiliency: Implementing relaxation routines, such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness breathing, is one of the best ways to cope with stressors. These non-strenuous exercises have been shown to be beneficial not only for mental health, but also for physical health. According to Dr. Chadha, having strong family support can also help boost resilience, especially during health crises.
- Implement regular exercise routines: Implementing more physical activity routines is another way to maintain and improve both mental and physical health. Light and moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes per day has been shown to improve well-being and lower the risk of cognitive decline as well as metabolic and cardiovascular illnesses.
- Consume a healthy diet: Reducing your intake of processed and high-fat foods can have a significant impact on your mental health. Consuming more fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish oils, and high-fiber meals can help reduce anxiety and mood issues that can disrupt a healthy lifestyle.