Authors: Ram Lakhan1 Amit Agrawal2 Manoj Sharma3
The outbreak of the third coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), also named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has occurred more rapidly than people could have ever imagined from the experience of the past two SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.1,2 To control the spread of this virus, the entire world acted fast and in collaboration, but the COVID-19 pandemic could not be controlled as it has rather impacted human lives across the globe. In 6 months, in 216 countries including territories, 13,876,441 people got confirmed for infection and 593,087 lost their lives.3 To reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, social distancing was suggested and enforced. People of all walks are required to stay in their homes and maintain physical distance in any given situation while they are out for any essential reason.4,5 This intervention has not only impacted all ongoing activities but has led to a tremendous negative effect on the mental health of people. The fear of contracting the virus, lack of treatment, higher mortality associated with the virus, and uncertainty about when the virus would be controlled and when a vaccine would be available are the major factors that were found to be highly responsible in increasing psychological distress, adjustment, and even more serious mental health problems. Economic loss, interrupted daily routine, the inability of engaging in social events, and constant news exposure are additional factors that affected mental health. The crisis became an unmanageable stressor. Incidences were even noticed where some people could not handle the mental pressure, and as an escape from traumatizing reality, they committed suicide.6,7 Editorials, scientific letters, perspectives, and commentaries in scientific literature and reports in print and visual media have pointed out an increase in mental health problems. Experts across the world expressed concerns for an increasing toll of mental health problems and urged for mental health support.8 The increase in mental health problems in every society and age group in every nation has turned out to be another important global public health concern during this pandemic. 9-16 Experts have suggested appropriate and cost-effective ways to address psychological distress and their resulted effects.17 A lot of attention has been given to this emerging situation with mental health concerns. However, we still lack quantifiable information about the increase in mental health problems due to the pandemic. Policy makers need to know the extent of the problem before making the appropriate arrangements for addressing this issue of increased mental health problems. This scoping review was conducted to provide an estimate of various mental health problems that occurred due to COVID-19. Objective The aim of this study was to review the prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep problems during the first 7 months of COVID-19 pandemic.