Salma Jahangir

PESHAWAR: If not all, large number of people passed through anxiety and depression apparently due to their continuous exposure to media contents during the corona lockdown period.
Before the lockdown, Mohsin Khan was a regular student at the Urdu department of the University of Peshawar. From attending classes in the university to wandering with buddies, Khan had a normal social life. But since the government announced the lockdown across the country, most of his time was spent before a TV set or reading newspapers.

“During that period, majority of the news were about Covid19. The TV channels and the newspapers were regularly telling about the rise in number of Covid patients. Since all other places including university, markets and clubs were closed, I used to spend most of the time in my room, either watching TV or reading newspapers. This monotony badly affected my mental health and I became victim of anxiety and depression,” Khan reveals.

“My health started deteriorating with each passing day. I had lost appetite and sleep at night. The fear of getting infected by the Covid19 was always haunting me. I started overreacting to the pandemic. I used to wake up at nights fearing what would happen if me or any other person of my family or in the neighborhood is infected by Covid19. Sometimes, I used to react like a psychopath as my heartbeat became fast and the whole body used to shiver,” Mohsin, who lives in the Civil Quarters neighborhood in Peshawar, maintains.

As the time passes, Mohsin’s condition gets worsen and his anxiety also increases. He was always thinking about the possible outbreak of the pandemic in his family. A time comes when he starts avoiding meeting his own family members fearing as he fears the deadly virus may contract him. This situation also worried Mohsin’s family members, who decided to see a doctor for his medical treatment.

But it didn’t work as well because most of the health facilities in the city were closed. Mohsin says he didn’t want to go to hospital either as there were chances of getting exposed to the virus. The OPDs at the main tertiary care hospital were also not providing service to public.

Luckily, his elder brother contacted a psychiatrist on phone, who immediately started Mohsin’s treatment and counseling. It helped me recover to great extent but still he is apprehensive about the second wave of the pandemic.