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Psychologist pitches for counselling in all stages of Covid-19 treatment | Madurai News

Madurai: Psychological counselling is very important in the treatment of Covid-19, and it is important in all three stages, detection, during treatment and after discharge, as the disease takes its toll on the mental health of the patients badly, said leading psychologist and state nodal officer for police mental health, Dr C Ramasubramaniam.
In this respect, he welcomed Madurai corporation commissioner S Visakan’s decision to seek the help of psychiatrists to help treat Covid-19 patients right from the time when the disease outbreak was reported. As nodal officer for police wellbeing, his organisation, the MS Chellamuthu Trust, had helped 2,810 police personnel throughout the state with the help of 150 councillors. “If there is any severe depression among the patients it is brought to my notice and we begin treatment directly,’’ he said.
Similarly, the trust has also counselled 500 Covid-19 patients in Madurai including those who underwent treatment at the Government Rajaji Hospital. He said that 60% to 70% of Covid-19-affected people were mentally affected, and were taken care of through counsellors. “What we noticed was that 1% of these patients were severely depressed and suicidal, and we were able to rescue them through timely action,’’ he said.
It is not just the patients but their families have also needed counselling. Immunity is important for preventing the disease, but it is a proven fact that stress and anxiety can lead to decreased brain immunity and consequently body immunity. There are people who are developing obsessive disorders, due to fear of death through the disease. Obsessive cleaning and fear of contamination are common problems which if not addressed properly could lead to serious mental health problems. Many who are reckless go into shock when they contract the disease. Even after a patient recovers there are cases, where the family accuses him for putting them at risk and also for their financial difficulties. Societal stigma is another problem. This is when counselling is very important, as otherwise the person who undergoes physical, sensory and emotional isolation, could become suicidal.

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