Corona ! The most rigorously discussed global topic of today. Media, health workers, police, military, political figures, opposition parties, Bollywood stars, common people all are standing at the same platform and working for a common mission “To fight and defeat Corona Virus”. The level of stress floating in the global society doesn’t seem to go down any sooner. As the cases are increasing, the mortality rate is also increasing worldwide. The infection is spreading itself so magically than anyone can think of. Everything changed from usual to unusual in a short span of time such as sitting at home, not going out, managing with less resources, less options to eat, no outings, no socializations, no sports, no online shoppings, only home made food, and much more. Can this so called Chinese Virus (in Trump’s words) do so much to humans? Doesn’t it sound so unusual? And anything which is extremely unusual has the potential of creating extreme disturbance in our minds. An unusual lifestyle of so many restrictions with a severe and persistent worry and fear of getting infected. Constant stress through which we are going is becoming a matter of utmost concern for the world. After the frontline workers of the present crisis like health professionals, maintenance people and police, the role of mental health professionals is strongly emerging in the second place for the people who are facing extreme mental pressure. These are also the ones who are working in the hospitals and their family members too. There are many incidents of social rejections of these people. What is there to safeguard them from such pressure? Can we think of giving them some psychological strength to reduce their pressure which has become a constant source of stress. But..have we ever thought ‘why’ it is important to talk about stress when the world is facing this crisis? What can stress do to us, our minds, our bodies and off course our lives. We all are aware of the suspected suicide case of German finance minister Thomas Schaefer after becoming deeply worried over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Not going far, common people are also not untouched of these psychological reactions. People are getting panic attacks, they are worried to the extent to develop depression and sleep disturbances. How can we be so assured that extreme care about hygiene habits such as repeated handwash, wearing masks, keeping distance, sanitizing everything we get from outside etc. will not lead to obsessive compulsive disorders and pathological health anxieties in humans for the rest of their lives.
It’s the high time to think about stress. What is it and what it can do to our bodies and minds.This article is based on the current data provided through the means of television and ongoing research being conducted around the world. In this context we would like to draw attention towards how combination to various factors can contribute towards the propagation of infection. Although there are other factors also responsible for the same. In the current scenario, stress and latitude is being targeted by the researchers.
As all of us know about the “Stress”, It is state of strain psychological and physiological and as well stress can be both positive and negative, would like to draw the attention towards the Physiological and Negative aspects of Stress, on the whole the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. During stress full situation body is in state of fight or flight system for which body prepares itself in doing so body produces B cells and T cells that are termed as lymphocytes.
B cells produceantibodies which are released into the fluid surrounding the body’s cells to destroy the invading viruses and bacteria and T cells are produced if the invader gets inside a cell, these (T cells) lock on to the infected cell, multiply and destroy it. So this is very basic phenomenon how immune system works.
However sometimes body pass through the state to which we call as immunosuppression, immunosuppression is resultant of hypo effectiveness of immune system when individuals pass through this stage they become susceptible to many infections same was proved in researches done earlier, In an investigation conducted by Glaser &Kiecolt-Glaser, 2005; Kiecolt-Glaser, McGuire, Robles, & Glaser, 2002; Segerstrom& Miller, 2004 found that stressors tend to have significant effect of immunosuppression on immune system.
Immunosuppression takes place when body synthesis stress related hormone that is corticosteroids in hyper mode thus leading to the immunosuppression and leaving the human body prone to lots of infections. Now if we get confronted with the situation like COVID-19, which involves lot of stress, panic and depression in some case can leave peoples prone to the infection. According to the WHO approximately76-85%* of people are suffering from mental health issues in some countries, If we talk about depression it is considered as common mental health problem approximately 264million** people are suffering from depression worldwide in such situation two aspects are there the panic and stressful situation and ones who are already suffering from mental health problems and as well as characteristics of infection. So these verticals when combined together can become lethal combination that can lead the person to be infected with some infection besides this there are other factors too that are responsible for masses to be affected by the infection. So I would like to conclude the section stating that stress and mental health problems can become potential cause of physiological infections if not controlled in specified duration.
About the Authors
Dr. Nadeem Luqman | Associate Professor, Dept.of Psyhcology, Ansal University, Gurugram. Dr.NanditaChaube | Assistant Professor, Institute of Behavioural Science, Gujarat Forensic Science University.