By RITA AGGARWAL :
Q.I am a patient of anxiety disorder and have few obsessions too.I have become very restless and worried with this pandemic. My sleep has reduced and I worry for me and my family. I am trying to control the situation, but are there ways of helping people like me. I am sure everyone is anxious, but I am more so.
Ans.This is an extremely relevant question in the current crisis of COVID-19. Anxieties have increased for the entire country and people with anxiety disorder and OCD must bemore concerned than others. Although there is no evidence to show that OCD has increased or that existing patients of OCD have worsened. In fact there is an opinion that patients of OCD may be better equipped to handle the guidelines given by WHOand CDC for they are already very careful about washing hands and maintaining good levels of hygiene. If you feel you are experiencing an increase in symptoms then you may try re-structuring your thoughts and controlling irrelevant thoughts which creep in. The guidelines mention a few important points which if followed will keep yousafe and healthy.
One, isstaying athome and working from home and going out only for essential commodities twice a week or once a week. Two, is always wearing a mask when you step out. Three, is social distancing when you come near to another person. Fourth, washing your hands frequently and nottouching your eyes,nose and mouthwithbarehands. Fifth, is being alert to symptoms of cough, sore throat and high fever. If you follow all these guidelines rest assured nothing will happen to you or your family members. Anxiety of catching an infection is an important concern and once you have taken due precautionsdon’tall ow negative thoughts to accelerate.Another symptom which attaches itself to an anxious mind is the sense of being responsible for family getting the infection.
This is also irrational and allow each one to be responsible. Educate all family members about the guidelines and see that it is followed seriously.Once youdo thislearnto relax and meditate.Deep breathe and exercise daily. Keep yourself busy in creative ways by your hobbies and duties. Praying will help calm and ease the mind. A session on cognitive behaviour therapy will help you curb all extra anxieties. Baby
Q.Madam how to manage children during this lockdown period. Full day they are chatting and playing online games and fighting with each other.I have tried many things, but I feel stressed out with children. Please give tips.
Ans. This situation of ‘social emergency’ is very tough on all humanity and business too. I am not sure what will work but I cangive some tips which other mothers areusing.The firstthing for the family to do is to discuss the whole issue of COVID-19 seriously and collectively. Ask each memberif they have understood the problem and the precautionsto follow. Then in another collective meeting, discuss how each member would like to engage themselvesina creative and happy manner.
Many mothers are encouraging their spouse and their children to try their hand on cooking and baking newdishes and enjoy together.The second engagement could be group gameslike carrom orscrabble or online gamesin a group.The third isto chat with the children and knowthem better.The other option isto pray and meditate together for a few minutes daily. You will see that a schedulewill emerge inthehome and allwill followit. Fighting should be ‘banned’between children and ask them to manage their own affairs. Control your behaviour too. Make full use of the time at home and the collective spirit
RITA AGGARWAL (Consulting Psychologist) ‘Follow Covid-19 guidelines and relax’ The columnist can be reached at 201, Paramount Heights, 40 Cement Road, Shivaji Nagar Nagpur 440010 or on 9156582334, 2220250 and 2223322. She can also be reached at [email protected] and can be visited at www.rita-psychologist.com)