Depression & suicide cases rising in Assam Post-lockdown

Post-lockdown depression and suicide cases are rising in Assam.
Depression & suicide cases rising in Assam Post-lockdown



GUWAHATI: Post-lockdown depression and suicide cases are rising in Assam.

A psychiatrist at the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) told this reporter that many youths had lost their high salaried jobs during the COVID-19-driven lockdown in 2020. While some of them have now managed to secure alternative jobs after the lockdown, many of them are still remaining jobless, he said.

"Many such youths are now frustrated and depressed. Some of them are approaching me seeking psychological counseling. A few cases are serious as they are developing tendency to take extreme steps in case they do not find jobs early," said the psychiatrist.

Sources said that in between October 2020 and January 2021, city police registered nearly 50 unnatural death cases. When investigated, 10 to 20 cases were related to joblessness and closure of income sources due to COVID-driven lockdown. Many more such suicide cases have not been reported, the source said.

Hundreds of youths who were otherwise working in metro cities had returned to Assam during the lockdown. "The majority of these youths were engaged in the Private sector; and they lost their jobs. Even though some of them have returned to the metro cities in search of new jobs, many are languishing in the State. They have now registered their names with the Employment Exchange department of Assam Government and various private jobs agencies. Unless the State Government takes the responsibility of these youths who lost their jobs during the lockdown, these youths would not find alternative employment avenues very soon," said Siddhartha Goswami who runs a job agency.

On the other hand, sleep has emerged as a major casualty after the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown in the State.

"Many city residents seeking therapy complained of lack of sleep or a ruptured sleep cycle. Lack of adequate sleep has also resulted in abnormal psychological behaviour," said a somnologist (sleep doctor or specialist). He pointed out that in serious cases of sleep disorder the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is used.

BT-I is a structured programme that helps to identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. "Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps an individual to overcome the underlying causes of his sleep problems," added the somnologist.

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