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Undergraduate Program Postgraduate Program


Undergraduate Program Postgraduate Program

Touch Deprivation

Zarah Tyagi

Strategic Design & Management

Class of 2023

WHAT IS IT? When physical contact becomes limited—or, in some cases, eliminated— people can develop a condition called touch starvation or touch deprivation.

Touch Starvation- A Consequence of COVID-19's Physical Distancing. Everyday touch has become a source of stress — and a negotiation of personal boundaries — in a way that it was never meant to be before the coronavirus pandemic. Some people have gone many months without human touch. It was among the first things we were cautioned against, before social distancing, masks and stay-at-home orders became the new normal. Touch in integral to mental, emotional and physical well being. Absence of touch can give way to touch deprivation, which can lead to health issues like anxiety and depression.

RELATION TO OVERALL HEALTH- Losing this part of the human experience and not knowing when it will safely return is yet another devastating consequence of the pandemic. Over time, the mental health consequences of touch starvation can include increases in stress, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and trauma related symptoms. When we feel a friendly touch on our skin, for example a pat on the back, our brains release oxytocin, a neuropeptide involved in increasing positive, feel-good emotions.

The Importance of Touch- "After all this information collected I've learnt I want to use this data on Touch Deprivation to explain the concept of how absence of touch can give way to health issues like anxiety and depression with the format of infographic visual or poster."