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Asian J Psychiatr ; 54: 102291, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2149255


COVID-19 has emerged as a global health threat. The catastrophic reaction to a pandemic in spite of knowing the deadly outcomes, has been referred to as the 'social absurdity'. Such reaction creates a negativistic outlook with regard to the infection, thus contributing to chaos and preventing containment. In this article, the current pandemic of COVID-19 is revisited through the lens of Camus' 'La Peste, 1947'. The philosophical roots of social 'absurdity' during a pandemic are critically discussed in the context of death anxiety. Subsequently, ways of reshaping it are highlighted, borrowing from the theories of existentialism and positive psychology.

COVID-19/psychology , Existentialism/psychology , Medicine in Literature , Humans , Pandemics
Indian J Psychiatry ; 63(3): 222-227, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296031


BACKGROUND: Little information is available from India about the psychological impact of COVID-19 on helath-care workers. AIM: The current study aimed to evaluate the psychological issues among the health-care workers (HCW) during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online survey using Survey Monkey® platform was carried out to evaluate depression (using Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (using Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-7), and other psychological issues (using a self-designed questionnaire). RESULTS: The study sample comprised 303 participants with a mean age of 41.2 (standard deviation: 11.1) years. A majority of them were male (69%) and married (79.9%). Nearly half (46.2%) of the participants had either anxiety disorder or depression or both and 12.9% of HCW had suicidal behavior. Higher level of anxiety and depression scores were associated with being female, having undergone quarantine, directly involved in the care of COVID-19 patients, and younger age (<30 years). Higher prevalence of depression and anxiety disorder was seen in younger (<30 years) age group, being a doctor (compared to paramedics). In addition, higher prevalence of depression was seen in those who were directly involved in the care of patients with COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: About half of the HCWs are suffering from psychiatric morbidity, specifically anxiety, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a need to assess all the HCWs for psychiatric morbidity and provide them with psychological support.

Front Psychiatry ; 11: 604472, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045494


Background: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a global health threat. Certain factors like age, an immunocompromised state, and social impoverishment, etc. can add to health vulnerabilities during this pandemic. One such group is older transgender adults, who often bear a combination of these risks. As the world is aging fast, their numbers have also been increasing. With this in mind, this study explores the lived experiences and psychosocial challenges of older transgender adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Methods: A qualitative approach was used. Ten individuals with "transgender" identity above the age of 60 were recruited with consent through purposive sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted on the telephone using a pre-designed interview schedule. They were recorded, translated, and transcribed verbatim. Hasse's adaptation of Colaizzi's phenomenological method was used for analysis. Independent coding and respondent validation were used to ensure the rigor of data. Results: The super-arching categories (with themes) were marginalization ("second" priority, stigma, social disconnection), the dual burden of "age" and "gender" (ageism, othering, and psychosexual difficulties), and multi-faceted survival threats (physical, emotional, financial) during the pandemic. Social rituals, spirituality, hope, and acceptance of "gender dissonance" emerged as the main coping factors, whereas their unmet needs were social inclusion, awareness related to COVID-19, mental health care, and audience to their distress. Conclusion: The elderly gender minorities are at increased emotional and social risks during the ongoing pandemic, and their voices are mostly unheard. The need for policy implementation and community awareness about their social welfare is vital to improving their health and well-being.

Indian J Psychiatry ; 62(4): 418-426, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-737631


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2, has emerged as a global public health threat. The implications are much beyond just health crisis, and it has long-lasting psychosocial and economic implications. Although the psychological offshoots such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and sleep disturbances are being studied in-depth, there is a dearth of literature on the sexual well-being and sexual practices during this pandemic. Considering the physical distancing; travel restrictions; the high human-human transmission rate; misinformation and uncertainty about the sexual routes of transmission for SARS-CoV-2; and fear about intimacy, sexuality, and safe sexual practices have increased significantly. This is more prominent in newly settled or distanced couples and the frontline health workers, with increased risk exposure to the virus. For them, guilt and distress associated with sexual relationships might increase primary psychiatric and sexual disorders. This, in turn, impacts relationships and emotional bonding in couples and affects healthy coping during the pandemic crisis. Although sexual abstinence is the safest practice to prevent transmission, it is not practically feasible in all cases. Risk reduction counseling, sex with quarantined partners, and digital sex are other options that are worth exploring. There are additional concerns of digital safety, unhealthy use of technology, cyber-crimes, and online extortion. Keeping this in the background, this advocacy article glances through the effects of past outbreaks on sexuality, reviews the current recommendations, and proposes methods and approaches for sexual well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is vital for overall public health.