There's hope for Covid's madness

Few people are unaware that the Covid-19 crisis has hit South Africa hard, both in terms of loss of lives and severe illness, but also when it comes to the damage it has done to our already fragile economy. Psychiatrist Dr Frans Korb, chair of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), writes today that he has never seen anything like the devastation to mental health caused by the pandemic and the associated lockdowns. People are being brought down by despair, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. A distressingly significant number of people see no way out of their...
Few people are unaware that the Covid-19 crisis has hit South Africa hard, both in terms of loss of lives and severe illness, but also when it comes to the damage it has done to our already fragile economy.

Psychiatrist Dr Frans Korb, chair of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), writes today that he has never seen anything like the devastation to mental health caused by the pandemic and the associated lockdowns. People are being brought down by despair, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

A distressingly significant number of people see no way out of their hopelessness and have committed, or plan to commit, suicide. Fear of the virus and its consequences, layered on uncertainty and helplessness caused by unemployment, has led to increased abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. This, in turn, has seen violence spike – especially against women and children.

Yet, there is hope. Sadag is a caring ear and can offer advice on treatment and on coping. Medical practitioners can also refer patients to mental health experts. But all of us need to look after each other. Talk – and listen. But, most of all, pay attention to warnings of someone's impending breakdown.

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