Does COVID-19 infection cause depression or anxiety? -Harvard Health Blog


The doctor tells you that your COVID-19 virus infection has cleared up a few months ago. However, even if you no longer have difficulty breathing and your oxygen level has returned to normal, you still feel some discomfort. In addition to constant headaches, you also find yourself struggling with seemingly simple tasks. The fatigue you experience makes moving from bed to kitchen feel like an achievement. However, what bothers you most is the sense of fear. With such a severe tension, you will feel your heart beating. Now, constant worries prevent you from falling asleep at night.

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

we are Still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19 On the brain. data Research from Wuhan shows that the virus may invade the brain, and more than one-third of infected patients will develop neurological symptoms. In addition to brain infections, we also know that due to the psychological effects of isolation, loneliness, unemployment, financial stress, and loss of loved ones, the pandemic also leads to deterioration of mental health.This Antidepressant prescription Soaring, Intimate partner violence increased, with Suicidal thoughts It is on the rise, especially among young people.

Does COVID-19 infection increase the risk of mental illness?

Until recently, the mental health consequences of COVID-19 infection were unknown.A kind New research The electronic health records of 69 million people found that COVID-19 infection increases the risk of mental illness, dementia or insomnia. In addition, people with mental illness are 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, which may be related to behavioral factors, lifestyle factors (such as smoking), inflammation, or psychiatric drugs. This is the first large-scale study to show that contracting COVID-19 does increase the risk of mental illness.

The long-term impact of COVID-19 infection on mental health remains to be seen.After the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, the offspring of mothers who were infected during pregnancy were found to have Higher interest rates Schizophrenia. It is believed that viral infection during pregnancy may be one of the risk factors for the development of mental illness related to the body’s immune response. If COVID-19 infection even slightly increases the risk of mental illness in the offspring, considering the large number of infections on a global scale, this may have a large impact on the population level.

Are you mentally ill due to COVID-19?

You may feel fatigue, stress or sadness due to the physical impact of COVID-19 or living conditions. However, even if you are positively screened for depression or anxiety when you see a doctor, remember that the screening tool is not a diagnostic tool. People with physical symptoms of COVID-19 infection usually react positively to depression, because symptoms of infection often overlap with symptoms of depression. For example, lack of sleep, inattention, and decreased appetite may be caused by medical illness rather than depression.

In order for the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, you may need to wait for a while to monitor the development of symptoms. Although antidepressants are usually prescribed for mood and anxiety disorders, remember that when living conditions improve, mild to moderate symptoms usually disappear on their own. If this is your first episode of depression or anxiety, you may not need specialist treatment when the symptoms are mild. If you do start taking medication, make sure to check the treatment with your doctor regularly and make changes as needed.

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

  • vaccination. This is especially important for people with mental illness, because mental illness is an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection.
  • Continue to wear a mask and maintain a physical distance. But keep social relationship.
  • utilize resource. Online therapy, workbooks and mobile apps (COVID coach, CBT-I coach) Can provide benefits without risking exposure to treatment.
  • Advocate others. COVID-19 long-distance transporters may not advocate changing workplaces, life insurance or mental health insurance, especially if they suffer from fatigue and brain fog.
  • Conducting sport exercises. Except being As effective as drugs In terms of mood and anxiety, physical exercise also contributes to memory and heart health.
  • Take advantage of relaxed rituals. When the world seems to be out of control, try to establish a ritual. Controlling the time of the day or even the day can help you take root.
  • Please use with caution Sleep aids and much-needed medicines. Short-term use can quickly become long-term use, leading to drug tolerance, dependence, and rebound anxiety.
  • Limit the use of alcohol and marijuana. Taking care of sick relatives, unemployment, increased time at home, and prolonged stress caused by interpersonal pressure can lead to Problematic substance use.
  • Pay attention to caffeine. If fatigue is severe after COVID, discuss other options with your doctor, as excessive caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and sleep problems.
  • Check and ask how to help your relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors. It is usually easier to refuse help than to ask for help. If someone is thinking about suicide in private, a simple boarding call or friendly gesture can save lives. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is suitable for anyone who is seriously troubled.


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