Emotional impact of quarantine
The simple act of being quarantined can be distressing. When people are quarantined, they:
- Can be completely separated from loved ones
- Lose their freedom of movement
- Don’t know if they will show symptoms or not
- Don’t know how the disease may affect them
- Have no understanding of how long they will be separated
- Experience boredom and have too much time to worry about the situation
People who have been quarantined have reported or shown a high prevalence of symptoms of psychological distress and disorder.
Symptoms reported include emotional disturbance, confusion, depression, stress, irritability, insomnia and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
In addition, the stigma surrounding those in quarantine can lead people to feel rejected and/or avoid seeking help.
How to reduce the negative effects on mental health
- Seek trusted information sources. COVID-19 information and news is everywhere, and it’s hard to know what’s true. Follow news from the World Health Organization, the CDC and your state health department. Stay away from suspect information that well-intentioned people may share on social media. If you have specific questions about your situation, call your doctor.
- Make sure you have adequate supplies. Make your experience as tolerable as possible. Make sure you have basic supplies such as food, water and medicine for the duration of the quarantine period. Many communities have stores or services that will deliver essential items to your door, so keep a list in case you need anything.
- Make the most of your downtime. As noted above, isolation, boredom and stigma negatively impact mental health. Call old friends you haven’t talked to. Catch up on your reading, do crossword puzzles or play electronic games. Listen to music. Organize those piles of paper you haven’t gotten to. If you can, work remotely.
- Keep a journal, blog or vlog about your experience. Writing down your feelings and experiences, or talking about them, can be cathartic for some people. And if you are comfortable sharing it, your journal can be helpful for other people in the same situation.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out. Talk to a neighbor or two and let them know of your situation so they can help. Find others who are going through the same thing or have been in your shoes before. Talking to someone who knows what you’re going through can help you feel less alone.
- Focus on how you are helping. Remind yourself that your isolation, while difficult to bear, is truly helping contain the spread of disease and potentially saving lives.
For more reading:
Source: Magellan, Internet & Others
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.