A Good Psychological State in Turkey During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Türkiye'de COVID-19 Salgını Sırasında Psikolojik İyi Hal

Novel Coronavirus (NCOV-19) started in the city of Wuhan in China in December 2019, spread rapidly, and killed over one million people. The pandemic affected the global course of life, and almost all countries imposed serious restrictions on social life due to the pandemic. This created serious adverse outcomes not only for physical health, but also in social, psychological, and economic terms, and a number of people lost their jobs during that period of time (WHO).

There are many pieces of research showing that an intense reaction of stress may occur among the people during the times of crisis, and that these adversities can have both short-term and long-term effects on mental health.

Concerns, such as the risk of getting infected, the risk of losing family members or loved ones, uncertainty towards future, radical changes in daily routines, limited social interaction, misinformation spread on social media, caused significant mental health problems during the pandemic.

Its Effects on Healthcare Professionals

Quarantines, or disease-related deaths of relatives or friends, or other pandemic factors, such as being exposed to media images or news regarding the outbreak, may have adverse effects on the mental health of healthcare professionals. Additionally, the fact that the NCOV-19 virus spread quickly, along with the disease’s serious nature that exceeded the healthcare system’s capacity to cope with the burden of the disease, caused healthcare professionals to get tired of the emotional burden of facing death. As a result, a significant portion of the people that the virus infected were healthcare professionals, and many healthcare professionals died in the battle against COVID-19.

In addition to being the most medically-vulnerable group, the increasing workload, the risk of getting infected themselves and infecting their loved ones, the responsibility of making highly critical decisions on their own, the lack of clear directives concerning the treatment and treatment process, and witnessing the disease and deaths of many people, pose a threat for the mental health of the healthcare professionals.

The results demonstrate that there is an immediate need of psychological support intervention that is accessible to healthcare professionals who are under a long-term workload and stress burden. The data also give rise to thoughts that nurses and other auxiliary healthcare professionals may have been more adversely affected during the pandemic, compared to physicians. Furthermore, being away from the family during the pandemic seems to be affecting the healthcare professionals psychologically.

– Ceri, V., & Cicek, I. (2021). Psychological well-being, depression and stress during COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey: a comparative study of healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals. Psychology, Health & Medicine26(1), 85-97.