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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-108

Stress, mental health, and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: Preliminary findings of an online survey in India

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, Manipal College of Health Professionals, MAHE, Udupi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Clinical Psychology, JSS Medical College and Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
B R Sahithya
Department of Clinical Psychology, Manipal College of health Professionals, Manipal Academy of health Sciences, Udupi - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_186_21

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Background: The recent COVID-19 pandemic has induced a considerable degree of fear, worry, and concern in the population at large. Drastic changes in daily lives as a result of lockdown may expose individuals to high stress levels, which might make them vulnerable to mental health issues. It is important to identify and understand these difficulties, which can help mental health professionals and policy makers address these issues. Aim: The present study aimed to screen mental health problems and to gain insight into resilience among Indians during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Materials and Methods: The study was cross sectional, using online survey method. Sociodemographic datasheet, a self-designed questionnaire, Patient Health Questionnaire and Brief Resilience Scale were entered into Google Form, and was sent using E-mails and WhatsApp to the personal contacts of the investigators. The link was also posted in social media groups. The participants were requested to complete the survey and then forward the link to their contacts. Inclusion criteria laid for the study included English speaking males and females, 18 years or older, and living in India. A total of 348 individuals filled in the forms, of which 327 were complete and included for analysis. Results: Fifty percent of the participants surveyed had symptoms of common mental disorders. Thirty-three percent had elevated scores needing diagnostic evaluation for somatoform disorder, 33% for generalized anxiety disorder, and 35% for depression. 8% reported developing interpersonal difficulties with family members, 17% reported financial stress, 23.5% were worried about job loss, and 35% found the lockdown very stressful. Elevated scores on patient health questionnaire-somatic, anxiety, and depressive symptoms were associated with financial stressors, worries about job loss, and lockdown stress. Ten percent of the participants indicated a need to talk to psychologist, and 40% were not aware of tele counselling facilities. Higher resilience was associated with lower odds of developing psychiatric symptoms. Conclusion: The results offer preliminary data-based insight into the impact of the lockdown, and are suggestive of increased stress and mental health liabilities. Fostering resilience may be critical to prevent or reduce mental health problems in general population during the pandemic.

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