No one is ready for this long Covid-19 pandemic situation. Nobody is preparing for this uncomfortable condition we have been through. Yet, it has been almost two years since we are living with this covid-19. The covid-19 pandemic is affecting us in so many ways. Some people lost their jobs, some lost their minds, and tragically, some people even lost their loved ones. Pandemic must have been a rough time. And it seems reasonable for people to have anxiety. But life must go on, isn’t it? And as time passed by we are only learning to heal ourselves.
So, on 6th November 2021, Act Global initiating an online class to talk about this issue. We believe that talking about this, is the first step to have a better understandment of anxiety and mental health problems during this pandemic.
We invited Annisaa Nur Rachmawati, a Master Candidate of Psychology in Clinical Profession at UMS (Muhammadiyah University Solo). She agreed to speak with us on this matter because she knew for sure that the level of anxiety since the pandemic began had increased. She mentioned, especially in the last week of March until Eid al-Fitr 2020, when the outbreak starts in Indonesia.
She elaborated that the most dominant factors of the anxiety during the pandemic are; 1) external factors such as unemployment, economy, education. 2) Internal factors such as age, and gender.
Annissa said the level of anxiety between men and women is different. Based on the results of research during the pandemic, it was stated that men had a lower likelihood of experiencing anxiety disorders, in contrast to women. This is because the majority of men use their logic to respond to the situation, but it is false to interpret that women do not use their logic. Respondents with lower secondary education were 3117 times more likely to experience high-level anxiety disorders than respondents with higher education. Some of the reasons are, people with less education are more likely to panic in the face of a condition. In addition, people aged 20-29 also have higher levels of anxiety. Some of the influencing factors are due to the many ambitions to be achieved, but lack of experience, and prone to fear of facing failure and the future.
Then Annissa explained that generally, everyone’s level of anxiety was not likely to be the same. Easily it could be classified as mild, moderate, severe, and panicked. Mild anxiety is what we often face every day, we can help it by overcoming the mind and taking a breath. A moderate example could be nausea a few times. At a severe level, this anxiety can enter the stage of depression, because it has been repeated many times. So this anxiety can also have an impact on physical or body conditions. Severe stages can already enter into bipolar, schizophrenia which requires drugs to handle, but we are advised not to self-diagnose.
Even though we discussed a serious issue, the session actually went smoothly. Around 60 people in the room meeting seemed to enjoy the conversation. We interacted with Annissa as the speaker, and without hesitation, we asked and shared our opinion.
Annisa herself mentioned that self-diagnosis is perhaps not a wise way to detect mental health problems. We believed the same. We thought professionals may be the right answer in the context of diagnosing mental health issues.
But it is not wrong to know a little about what is an indication of anxiety or a mental health problem. So here is what Annisa told us about what is the indication that we have anxiety or mental health problem:
PHYSICAL: Having difficulty sleeping, headache, nausea, sudden back pain, excessive sweating, shaking, loss of energy.
EMOTIONAL: irritable, irritable and sensitive, restless, anxious, mood swings, sadness, cry easily, nervous.
COGNITIVE: easy to forget, difficult to focus, difficult to concentrate, think too much about something.
BEHAVIOR: indifferent and silent to others, likes to find fault with others or attack with words, closes himself excessively, and easily blames circumstances or others.
And it is true, speaking about mental health or anxiety is the very first step to help ourselves. Annissa told us that talking, loving, and caring for yourself is some of the ways to improve our mental health.
But, if you really can not bear with your emotion, go help yourself. Find the professionals to help you.
Written by Harun Arrasyid