KONYA, Turkey

The spread of the novel coronavirus around the world has led to panic and psychological troubles for many people whether it be the result of fear of infection or self-isolation at home.

Releasing a written guideline on dealing with the mental burden of the outbreak, academic and psychologist Seher Akdeniz said that the being concerned was a necessity in the sense of cherishing life and taking precautions due to survival instincts.

Akdeniz explained that the human brain often produces disaster scenarios in times of danger and that this tendency could pave the way for further chains of negative thoughts.

The rise of anxiety could lead to depression, sleeping disorders, anger, aggressive behavior, suicidal thoughts and desperation, she said, adding that therefore, people should find simple but effective ways to ease their thoughts.

She underlined that social support was of the utmost importance at times of trouble and people should be in close contact with their friends and family through the internet or other means of communication.

“Try to check social media news less frequently and make sure to listen to credible sources during a certain time of the day,” she advised, underlining that one should limit communication with people that triggered stress levels.

Akdeniz noted that suffering was part of the human experience and urged people to show compassion for others and perceive positive sides of life.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed more than 287,800 people worldwide with over 4.21 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.47 million.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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