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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83-89

Psychological dimensions of COVID-19: Perspectives for the practicing clinician

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arun Ravindran
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 250 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1R8
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_27_20

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For most individuals, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a novel and anxiety provoking experience. With ongoing outbreaks in many regions around the globe, it has led to worldwide social distancing measures, travel restrictions, job and financial losses, and depletion of resources. In addition, morbidity and mortality of the infection with mental health sequelae including health-related anxiety, depression, and traumatic-related conditions are common. Such adverse mental health consequences clearly have a bidirectional relationship with the infection's presence, and thus, there is a need to recognize and address such complications to optimize care. The perspectives outlined here are based on a review of literature regarding past infectious outbreaks, current experiences with the ongoing pandemic, and their effects on psychological well-being and clinical practice. They attempt to provide a framework that integrates the mental, physical, and social domains of the COVID-19 pandemic and their interrelationships. Thus, it is recommended that management includes a psychological component, and evidence supports the use of psychoeducation and social support groups to mitigate the adverse psychological effects of the pandemic. Virtual delivery of such interventions is becoming a reality, although efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak largely remain a work in progress with global collaboration and innovation. The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic may provide valuable information to overcome the psychological impact of future infectious disease outbreaks.

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