This World Mental Health Day, let's unlock the behavioural effects of lockdown
- Young adults, less than 30 years old, showed significant changes in their behaviour after Covid, a study says.
- “They have become moodier and more prone to
stress, less cooperative, and trusting, and less restrained and responsible,” a study said.
- According to a
WHO report, there was at least 25% rise in depression and anxiety cases within young people.
Advertisement26-year-old Ishaan Bilala, who works as a senior consultant at EY, has noticed that he has become irritable and his tolerance level has severely gone down during the pandemic.
Bilala was a regular young professional enjoying the perks of a corporate life at Gurgaon with his colleagues, before Covid and the lockdowns struck. Forced to work remotely, he felt that his social growth was severely impacted.
“If you don’t expose yourself to people, you will become unsociable,” Bilala told Business Insider India. However, these changes have gotten better as offices have opened up, he added.
We have known that Covid-19 has had a deep impact on physical and mental well-being of people. Now, evidence is emerging that it may have affected our personalities as well, especially in Gen Zs and millennials.
Younger adults turned moodier, says study
According to a study published in PLOS One Journal, more young people have seen several changes in their personalities since the Covid pandemic. “Younger adults became moodier and more prone to stress, less cooperative, and trusting, and less restrained and responsible,” the study said.
This study included more than 7,000 participants from the US, aged between 18 and 100, who were assessed before the pandemic (from 2014 onwards), early in the pandemic in 2020, and then later in the pandemic in 2021 or 2022.
The researchers found significant declines in extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness in 2021 and 2022 compared before the pandemic.
Doctors too say that they have seen a significant rise in the number of people who don't want to be as social as they used to be before the pandemic.
“We have seen people – who were earlier pushing themselves to meet and engage with other people – now believing in keeping only meaningful relationships as Covid-19 broke the cycle of going out and being socially active,” Dr Kamna Chhibber, a clinical psychologist and head-mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Healthcare, said.
Mood swings, loneliness and frustration
According to Dr Vachna K, consultant psychiatrist at Apollo Clinic, Bengaluru, a lot of mood swings, loneliness, frustration and poor tolerance were also observed in people during Covid.
AdvertisementAman Khandelwal, a 23-year-old pursuing his CA finals, said that he had started having a lot of mood swings lately. He had also noticed his concentration level had gone down significantly, affecting his preparations for his exams in November.
“Before Covid, my concentration level was much higher than what it is now. And this is making me more irritated and frustrated all the time. I’ve become so moody lately and this is hampering my studies a lot,” Khandelwal said.
According to a WHO report, there was at least 25% rise in depression and anxiety cases within young people in 2020, as compared to 2019. However, doctors say this is not limited to teenagers and young adults alone.
“Middle-aged adults between 30-64 years also showed changes while the oldest group of adults showed no statistically significant changes in their behaviour. These changes, whether they are temporary or permanent, are not known yet,” Dr Vachna told Business Insider India.
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