The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in various changes to the working and learning arrangements of people with many working from home or attending classes online. However, the increased screen time has also increased isolation among the people, say experts.
Students and youngsters who are spending time on screens extensively at home can affect their mental health severely.
Head of department and senior psychiatrist at government Doon medical college, Dr JS Rana said, “Predominantly people are suffering from anxiety and due to social disruption people also suffer from stress, depressive illness and insomnia.”
To the students having their first time experience of online classes he said, “Students were not comfortable in the present set of scenario because they were unable to engage socially. Since our concentration cannot go beyond thirty minutes so classes should be of shorter duration and self-directed learning can be used which keeps students engaged.”
He suggests indulging in healthy habits and said, “Breathing exercises should be done regularly and nutritious food intake is a must. Indulge in your favourite activity, read books, listen to music, watch movies just see and do all those things which will uplift your mood. Spend time in a constructive manner rather than indulging in inappropriate activities because in this grim time when people feel lonely and sad some are attracted to alcohol and substance abuse which should be avoided.”
Talking about the effects of increased screen time, psychoanalyst Aditi Arora said, “Earlier there was considerable community communication wherein people used to share their interests and support each other but now when screen time has significantly increased people are deeply affected by the virtual world and are more isolated than before.
People who are deeply in the virtual world are going to have many social issues because the virtual world does not work in reality.”
She suggested that the corporate companies that are making people work for hours must provide some mental health relief from professionals to their employees whose screen time has increased significantly since lockdown.
“Mental health intervention should be provided to them at least once a week for which they should make some intimate groups and encourage them to talk about their problems.”
For those people who sometimes are not able to share their problems with their family or loved ones, she suggests that such people should seek help and talk about their problems.
“If you want individual sessions, hire a therapist or make communities in social media where you get to talk about your problems or visit some websites and blogs where you can confess your problems,” she added.