HEALTH RESEARCH: The physical and mental well-being of people has been harmed as a result of the virus containment efforts, as per a study done in Kochi, Kerala, by a renowned medical institution among Covid patients.

With a cutoff score of eight on the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, the study by the Amrita Hospital among 109 Covid patients who were admitted reveals a high prevalence of panic disorder. The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine published the study.

The study's principal investigator, Dr. K.P. Lakshmi of the department of psychiatry and behaviour medicine at Amrita Hospital, said panic disorder was diagnosed in 54.3% of married patients, 32.3% of unmarried patients, and all widow/widower patients. Panic disorder prevalence was also higher in patients with known physical illnesses and psychiatric illnesses, but it was lower in patients who had recently used alcohol, and it was higher in smokers.

"Married patients were shown to have higher rates of panic disorder, which may be related to their increased obligations and concerns for their families and job security during the epidemic. Similar to this, the fact that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant may account for the findings of a decreased panic disorder in patients who had recently consumed alcohol. The fact that nicotine is a stimulant to the central nervous system may be the cause of the higher prevalence of panic in smokers. The study involved hospitalised patients, therefore Covid at-home care recipients may not see the same results "Lakshmi said.

According to her, those who suffer from panic disorder can be helped by making lifestyle changes, engaging in breathing exercises, counselling, and/or using drugs.

It was discovered that the signs of a panic attack include abrupt, intense worry, a sense of impending doom, as well as physical symptoms including a faster heartbeat, shortness of breath, tense muscles, tightness in the chest, and sweating.

"On evaluation, nevertheless, their tests, including the ECG, will be in the normal range. Therefore, it's crucial to comprehend such attacks in order to make a good diagnosis. A panic attack can last anywhere from seconds to hours, although usually the symptoms peak within ten minutes of the attack's beginning and linger for about 30 minutes "Lakshmi added.

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