Can COVID-19 infection be responsible for your depressed mood or anxiety? – Harvard Health Blog


Doctors told you that your COVID-19 virus infection was wiped out months ago. Still, even though you no longer have trouble breathing and oxygen levels have returned to normal, something is not feeling right. In addition to the constant headaches, you find yourself struggling with seemingly easy tasks. The fatigue she experiences makes moving from bed to the kitchen a success. But the most worrying thing for you is the feeling of fear, a nervousness so severe that it can feel your heart beating. Constant worries now prevent you from sleeping at night.

What are the effects of COVID-19 on mental health?

We are still knows the long-term effects of COVID-19 in the brain. Data of Wuhan suggest that the virus can invade the brain, with more than a third of infected patients developing neurological symptoms. In addition to brain infection, we know that the pandemic has led to a worsening of mental health outcomes due to the psychological weight of isolation, loneliness, unemployment, financial stressors, and the loss of loved ones. He prescription of antidepressants has increased, intimate partner violence has increased, i suicidal thoughts they increase, especially in young adults.

Does COVID-19 infection increase the risk of psychiatric disorders?

Until recently, mental health outcomes as a result of COVID-19 infection were not known. A new study of the electronic medical records of 69 million people found that COVID-19 infection increased the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, dementia, or insomnia. In addition, people with psychiatric disorders were 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, which may be related to behavioral factors, lifestyle factors (such as smoking), inflammation, or psychiatric medication. This is the first major study to show that COVID-19 infection increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 infection on mental health remain to be seen. After the 1918-19 flu pandemic, they were found to have offspring from infected mothers during pregnancy. higher rates of schizophrenia. It is believed that virus infection during pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of mental illnesses related to the body’s immune response. If COVID-19 infection slightly increases the risk of mental illness in offspring, this could have a large effect at the population level, given the large number of infections worldwide.

Do you have a psychiatric disorder as a result of COVID-19?

You may feel tired, stressed, or sad about the effects of COVID-19 on your body or life circumstances. However, even if you detect depression or anxiety on your doctor’s visit, remember that screening tools are not diagnostic. People with physical symptoms of COVID-19 infection are usually positive for depression, as the symptoms of the infection usually coincide with the symptoms of depression. For example, poor sleep, decreased concentration, and decreased appetite may be due to medical illness rather than depression.

For a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, you may need to wait a period of time to monitor the development of symptoms. Although antidepressants are often prescribed for mood and anxiety disorders, keep in mind that mild to moderate symptoms usually go away on their own when life circumstances improve. If this is your first episode of depression or your first experience of anxiety, you may not need specialized treatment if your symptoms are mild. If you start a medication, be sure to periodically review the treatment with your doctor and make the necessary changes.

What steps can you take to minimize the health consequences of COVID-19 infection?

  • Get vaccinated. This is especially important for people with psychiatric disorders, which are independent risk factors for COVID-19 infection.
  • Keep wearing a mask and physically distance yourself. However, they intend to maintain social connections.
  • Make use of resources. Online therapies, workbooks and mobile applications (COVID coach, CBT-I coach) can provide benefits without risking exposure during treatment.
  • Defend others. COVID-19 long-haul carriers may not be able to advocate for changes in the workplace, life insurance, or mental health coverage, especially if they suffer from fatigue and brain fog.
  • Perform physical activity. in addition to being as effective as medications in terms of mood and anxiety, physical activity also helps with memory and heart health.
  • Make use of relaxing rituals. When the world seems out of control, try to establish a ritual. Having control even in one part of the day can help you feel on the ground.
  • Be careful with sleep aids and medications as needed. Short-term use can quickly become long-term use, leading to medication tolerance, dependence, and rebound anxiety.
  • Limit alcohol and cannabis use. Prolonged stress from caring for sick loved ones, unemployment, increased time at home, and relationship stressors can lead to increased and problematic substance use.
  • Consider caffeine. If post-COVID fatigue is severe, discuss other options with your doctor, as excess caffeine can aggravate anxiety and sleep problems.
  • Sign up and ask how you can help your loved ones, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. It is often much easier to turn down help than to ask for help. If someone is struggling in private with suicidal thoughts, a simple incoming call or a kind gesture can save a life. The National Lifetime Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is available to anyone in serious difficulty.

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