Studies suggest that COVID-19 can cause mental health problems
Studies suggest that COVID-19 can cause mental health problems

Studies suggest that COVID-19 can cause mental health problems

People who have been tested positive for coronavirus are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, even after they are healthy. according to a study from researchers at Washington University and St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs.

Using a database of VA patients, the researchers compared the records of more than 150,000 people who tested positive for the virus with records of millions of patients who did not. They found that during the pandemic, those with COVID-19 were 60% more likely to report symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse, or other mental health problems.

“More than 75 million people in the United States have had COVID-19,” said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington University and St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. “I think we need to spend a little more effort and conversation on the long-term consequences.”

Al-Aly has studied the long-term effects of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. He said many people have experienced depression and stress since the pandemic began, even those who have not tested positive for the virus. This is why researchers tried to determine if those who caught the virus were more likely to develop mental health problems.

It is possible that COVID-19 may alter people’s brains, making them more likely to develop mental disorders, he said. Because the virus is new, the exact way it affects the brain is unclear, but for now shows studies Coronavirus can affect how nerves in the brain send messages to each other. Other studies show that it can cause inflammation, which can cause or aggravate mental problems.

Isolation and other factors may also play a role in why mental health conditions are higher among COVID-19 survivors, Al-Aly said. Such problems appeared in COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized and those who were not hospitalized, but those who were hospitalized with a severe case of the disease were more likely to report mental health problems.

The study’s authors said people who were more likely to get coronavirus, such as those working in face-to-face service jobs, might also have been at risk for mental health problems to begin with because they were struggling financially or not. have a safe place to stay. To get a clearer picture, they checked for socioeconomic factors, Al-Aly said.

The results are important as the public and officials talk about an “end” to the coronavirus pandemic, he said. As a natural disaster, the effects of the last two years may extend far into the future.

“The earth will stop shaking and you say the earthquake is over,” Al-Aly said. “But what is the result of the earthquake is, in fact, often far more significant in human life than the two seconds or two minutes the earth shakes.”

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