The Negative Impact of Home Self-Quarantine on Mental Health
In the late stages of an infectious disease outbreak, healthcare providers often advise those who are quarantined to stay home to prevent spreading their illness to others, as well as protect themselves from becoming sicker by being out in public. This recommendation typically includes asking family and friends to isolate themselves with the quarantined individual, also called home self-quarantine (HSQ). This can have a significant negative impact on the mental health of both the quarantined person and their loved ones in isolation with them.
Isolation and Loneliness
Many people with infectious diseases feel isolated and lonely, which may have a negative impact on their mental health. When you’re feeling sick, it can be hard to get out of bed, let alone go outside. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Increased Stress Levels
Being quarantined in your own home can lead to increased stress levels. You may be confined to the same area for an extended period of time, and it is more difficult to avoid daily stressors such as traffic or a difficult co-worker. Additionally, people who are quarantined at home may not have access to their usual support system, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
Often times, we are not able to sleep as well as we would like. We may find ourselves tossing and turning at night, or waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. One major reason for this is that people are stressed about what’s going on in their lives and end up thinking about it during the hours they should be sleeping. This can lead to a lack of mental clarity, irritability, and even depression.
Studies show that many people who are quarantined at home experience poor nutrition, which can have negative impacts on mental health. The lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in some cases can lead to vitamin deficiencies. In addition, a lack of human interaction can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.