Dr. Praveenkumar Chintapanti is a leading Psychiatrist in Hyderabad. Alumni of Osmania Medical College, NIMHANS, University College London, UK and Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPych). After serving NHS in UK for 12 years, and a Faculty at University College London, now practices in Hyderabad since 2011. To know more about him please visit Tranquil Minds www.tranquilminds.com
Last year and half has been very daunting, leading, social isolation, fear, anxiety, stress & psychosomatic issues. Some of us even lost loved ones, gone through financial problems and some of found it challenging to come to terms with our grief. This “New Normal” is likely to continue for long and we will need to adapt to this new way of life, and some of our psycho-socio issues is likely to affect in one or many ways.
This led us to this offering, we interviewed Dr. Praveenkuamr Chintapanti who handled thousands of such cases, and we asked him a few questions and here we share his thoughts, his insights from his experience.
1.Doctor, what is emotional well-being and how does it impact productivity & personal life
We all know that sound body and sound mind are essential for a successful life. One without the other is incomplete. In the current times, it’s essential that for a successful & meaningful life one needs good mental health. Emotional wellbeing doesn’t mean absence of psychological illness but a state of fulfilment, happiness, and good dose of aspiration.
2.As a mental health practitioner, what are the challenges have you noticed during the pandemic, what are likely to continue post pandemic. How is pandemic impacting the emotional health of the people?
Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the emotional wellbeing of all the humanity. The biggest factor being the uncertainty it drove into minds of the people and the faceless danger it presented. People are geared up to handle a certain outcome however difficult it is, but the uncertainty drives a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and complete lack of direction. Absence of the time frame of the terror, paralyses the thought and the ability to act. Life appears to freeze with no thaw insight. This leads to depression and anxiety amongst people in general and the worst affected are the vulnerable in the society.
Today many IT professionals are forced to “work from home”, this is a considerable shift in the way we have worked in the past. The Social’s like Friday parties, Face-to-face meetings, informal conversations & learnings are missing now. What is the impact on this on the working professionals?
Information Technology has enjoyed a boom and a certain degree of predictability with growth when compared to other sectors. People by default had a sense of security, progress, and prosperity. Covid -19 has violently shaken away the existing equilibrium and created forced normality of “Working from Home”. However attractive during the initial stages the ascribed functional spaces of work, home and play have merged to one. This leads to dissonance in the minds of the people to associate places of “living a life” and “earning a living”. The warmth of the workplace which included social engagement which we all humans crave for has gone without a notice. This leaves a great void, which cannot be filled by any form of video conferencing, tele mentoring or virtual parties.
3. What have you seen as an impact on the families (homemakers) as the spouse, children & parents continue to stay home which was not the case before the pandemic.
After the initial honeymoon period of few weeks of spending the “quality time” with the families, people start finding it difficult to tolerate each other beyond a certain critical period of being together. Paradoxically, we all want to be together and want our space. Lack of right balance of “togetherness” and “individual spaces” leads to emotional toxicity. This further ensues conflict, emotional, verbal and physical abuse in certain families.
4. What is the way forward? What are some tips to ensure that the pandemic doesn’t disturb their emotional and mental wellbeing?
Acknowledging that no one is responsible for this pandemic is a first step. As much as we check a body for pain and discomfort, perhaps it’s very important to be aware about our emotional states. Being sensitive to the impact of our emotional distress on ourselves, loved ones and people we engage with in our day-to-day life is the key to preventing a psychological breakdown.
Talking about emotional distress it is a vital step to combat emotional fatigue. There is a myth that talking about it make it worse, in fact, talking makes it easier. Should you notice that you have been feeling anxious, sad, irritable, less tolerant, struggling with sleep perhaps, it is the time to seek professional help.
There are lots of other ways to deal with emotional difficulties such as having a regular schedule in life. Ensuring that you get a good 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, eating healthily, exercise for 40 minutes a day, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and reduce the screen time to any possible extent. For people who smoke perhaps it’s time to stop smoking. Avoiding illicit substances at all costs.
Ensuring the emotional spaces are not charged & aggressive and providing harmonious environment for children to progress and prosper.
By Krishna Rao & Vivekanand Chittampally,
Peepal HR Associates Hyderabad, and HR Helpdesk Partners of HYSEA