The Effects of Pandemics on Mental Health

Vesna Antičević

Abstract


The aim of this paper was to present the existing scientific
knowledge about the effects of a pandemic on psychological
needs and mental health. A search of bibliographic
databases (WoS, Scopus, Medline) found numerous studies
published in various publications by entering the keywords:
COVID-19 OR pandemic AND psychological needs AND
mental health AND hardiness. The results of the research
indicated that the fear of infecting oneself and loved ones,
the consequences of social distancing and the economic
consequences of a pandemic could have a significant effect
on mental health. The following groups have been identified
as particularly vulnerable to pandemic stressors: (a) people
who have been in direct or indirect contact with the virus; (b)
people with previous psychiatric problems; (c) health
professionals and (d) people who constantly follow pandemic
news. The consequences of a pandemic threaten basic
psychological needs such as physiological needs, the need
for safety, and the need for love and intimacy. The most
common mental health problems that have been identified
since the onset of the pandemic are anxiety, depression,
symptoms of post-traumatic stress and substance abuse. In
conclusion, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,
a large number of risk factors that can endanger mental
health have been identified, as well as protective factors,
such as psychological resilience.

Keywords


COVID-19 pandemic, psychological needs, mental health, psychological resilience

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Copyright (c) 2021 Vesna Antičević

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096