Dr Chetna Kang features on CGTN discussing how lockdown affects mental health
Nightingale Hospital consultant psychiatrist, Dr Chetna Kang, features in a recent article from China Global Television Network discussing the various mental health impacts that COVID-19 lockdowns have caused.
The article, which features clippings of a recorded video interview with Dr Kang, explores the physical, emotional and mental impacts that have stemmed from lockdowns.
Dr Kang explains the strong theme of uncertainty surrounding present times have been highly anxiety-provoking for some.
“It has also created a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people, uncertainty around their work, their education, finances, relationships. For some, it’s been quite stressful and it has increased their anxiety, because of loneliness and isolation,” she said.
Additionally, Dr Kang also notes seeing a rise “over the last few months” in seeing patients presenting in her clinic with addictions and other dependencies.
“Some became more dependent on social media, not just for entertainment, but as a distraction from challenging circumstances at home and in their relationships, almost like an avoidance.
And in one particular case, out of boredom, they also started smoking cannabis and drinking more heavily… by summer he was driven by either his drinking or his smoking cannabis or he was on his screen.
It’s almost like he existed because these three things existed and because he just couldn’t be with his own emotions.”
Dr Kang recognises the difficulty of dealing and accepting uncertainty.
“Uncertainty puts us in a position of being scared and fearful. We get worried and worrying gets us busy doing nothing. It’s a really unproductive space to be in and it makes us catastrophise,” she says.
However, she emphasises the importance of focusing on factors within our control to foster positive mental and physical health.
Activities such as meditation, yoga or walking in nature, she explains, will help with this.
“All of these things slow us down and quieten the mind. It’s very nourishing, on a biochemical level as well as psychologically and spiritually,” says Dr Kang.
Although lockdown creates many mental health challenges, Dr Kang is positive it can also be a very powerful period for growth and resilience.
“Lockdown is creating a stressful situation but if you look after your mental well-being, you’ll find that you have more resilience. And you won’t be so vulnerable to the limitations of a lockdown or the collective consciousness of fear that lockdown seems to be creating, because we’re also affected by other people’s attitudes,” explains Dr Kang.
“Just like the body can break down and be repaired, so can our mind,” she says.
“Most mental health conditions are transient. They’re an opportunity for growth and to improve our quality of life.”
If you’re struggling to cope with lockdown, contact us to see how we can support you.