Introduction and Objective: Dr. Elke Von said: “Lockdown is the world’s biggest psychological experiment and we will pay the price of it.” The second largest populous country India underwent a complete lockdown to curb the rampant spread and to prepare the health sector of our country to face the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic. This was the largest social movement that the world would have experienced in its history. About one-third of the total world population was under the alien experience of social lockdown. The curtailed access to family, friends, and other social support systems caused loneliness and mental issues such as anxiety and depression. The present study was undertaken to find the impact of social lockdown on the psychological and mental health of the participants.
Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional study was administered to 1047 participants in the age group of 16–70 years through Google forms to assess the psychological and mental status of the residents of Delhi-NCR, India. The psychological status was evaluated by Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), while mental health status was checked by Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21).
Results: The mean age of the participants was 48.29 ± 26.16 years. About 75.4% of participants had a moderate psychological impact of the lockdown as calculated by the IES(R) scale. DASS-21 scale revealed that the participants suffered from mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress. Females had higher IES(R) but males scored higher DASS-21 scores. Healthcare workers along with the auxiliary staff suffered maximal mental agony.
Conclusion: Lockdown helped India to combat the nCoV-19 in an organized and effective manner, but its impact on the psyche of civilians was immense and long lasting. The findings of this study highlight the need of improved psychological support and promotion of mental wellness services at the community level.
Key Words: COVID – 19, Pandemic, Depression, Anxiety, Stress.