The Psychological Effects Quarantine has had on Your Mental Health

Recent research has found that quarantine has had a crippling effect on mental health.


Livy Wallace

Although the struggle of mental health is hard to view it is a key component to ones well being.

On March 13th, a hush fell over all classrooms as Glenbard West’s principal, Dr. Monaghan, announced the closure of our very own school. As a student I thought our supposed “short break” from school would be a mental reset, when in reality, it turned out to be the exact opposite. 

Within weeks of quarantine I found myself anxious at the thought of interacting with another human. Not to mention I got easily frustrated with my family for no apparent reason. I never thought to credit my new behaviors to my isolation from the world. It was not until I researched my new feelings that I discovered the science behind the negative effects quarantine has had on our mental health.

While physical health has been introduced as an important objective for Coronavirus, mental health has been overlooked for its significance during the pandemic. Dr. Elke Van Hoof says, “people who are quarantined are very likely to develop a wide range of symptoms of psychological stress and disorder.”

The Lancet’s published review describes how symptoms may be brought on by “frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma.” With quarantine being centered around most of these ideas, it makes sense that one may be experiencing new or worsening psychological disorders. 

Studies conducted by the American Psychiatric Association have shown that only 68% of the American population feels knowledgeable about the virus. This proves why mental health is declining due to inadequate information. The shortage of groceries, face masks, and cleaning supplies demonstrates the reality of insufficient supplies. Americans were left guessing when items would be back on the shelves, resulting in worry. Not to mention the 36 million citizens that were left jobless were consumed with the idea of financial loss. 

It was nearly impossible to not run into any of the described precursors to symptoms of common physiological disorders. If our new daily lives were consumed with activities prone to lessen the wellbeing of our mental health, then why was mental health during the pandemic never highlighted by the government and news and media?

If one in five American adults experienced mental illness each year before the pandemic, it is more important than ever for the government and media to give resources to help suppress mental illness in quarantine. 

Dr. Vinita Mehta suggests that governments should release as much information as possible to avoid confusion and worry about the virus. Furthermore, governments should not only have an excess of supplies but a secondary plan if any necessities are out of stock. She also recommends that citizens should increase communication with loved ones to reduce the effects of boredom. And finally she promotes the need for special treatment for health-care workers as they are put under immense stress during the pandemic. 

With no sight to the end of the virus, researchers such as Dr. Vinita Mehta and Dr. Elke Van Hoof, believe that it is important to recognize the magnitude the quarantine has on one’s mental health. News coverage and governments should not only highlight the significance of physical health but also mental health during these tough times.