Strict Adherence to COVID-19 Guidelines Linked to Mental Health Challenges: Study

Strict Adherence to COVID-19 Guidelines Linked to Mental Health Challenges: Study

Strict Adherence to COVID-19 Guidelines Linked to Mental Health Challenges: Study

Research conducted at UK’s Bangor University in Wales has found that people who strictly adhered to the rules of COVID-19 are now mentally stuck and more prone to stress and anxiety.

The researchers claimed two main personalities; One, is the people who are sensitive and caring for the people called Communal personality. These people followed the lockdown rules more strictly than any other. Secondly, the people who are independent, and competitive are called Agentic personalities. These people want control over their lives and are found to be less prone towards mental conditions.

Dr. Marley Willegers quoted that, “ the more individuals compiled with health advice during lockdown, the worse their well-being post-lockdown”. It’s also evident through a case from February 2023 where a woman and her child remained locked inside a two-bedroom flat for three years. On investigation, the woman claimed that they feared catching covid and her son had not talked and met with their friends and neighbours for three years.

A first and wide lockdown in the UK took place from March to September 2020, wherein people were compliant with the rules of COVID-19. 1,729 people in Wales were found to be more anxious and depressed during these months. Willegers added the statement that people were receiving regular rules and caution to follow the COVID-19 rules during the pandemic but no messaging campaign was given to help everyone after lockdown to transit back to normality.

Andy Bell, chief executive of the research university said that “the fear, loss and trauma created by the pandemic are having a lasting impact on many people’s mental health”. Some people face loss and trauma of losing their special ones and some feel anxious because of following the rules. Those with a stronger sense of conscientiousness or a higher level of perceived vulnerability to the virus might be more inclined to strictly adhere to guidelines. Individuals who prioritise collective well-being over personal freedom might also be more compliant,” said Mehezbin Dordi.

Rucha Shrikhande Divekar, a psychologist in Pune stated that “COVID-19 taught us to prioritise mental well-being over physical well-being” She claimed that when we come to abid the rules, it is not the compliance itself that directly causes anxiety and depression, but the stressors associated with it causes.

In COVID-19, the isolation, disruption of routines and increased fear. These stressors give rise to or exacerbate preexisting mental health conditions or lead to the development of anxiety and depression in susceptible individuals. Future government health advertising campaigns designed to change people’s behaviour should factor in the different personality types in the population, Willegers added “Campaigns need to highlight the personal costs and benefits involved, not just people’s responsibility to others,” he said.

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