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Depression, psychosis, PTSD and other non-negotiable consequences of a pandemic

Cough, fever, loss of smell ... these are symptomsCOVID-19 that we all know about. But what happens to the psyche in these difficult times? As psychiatrists write in their article for The Conversation, their experience with SARS-CoV-2 infected patients showed that patients with depression, psychosis, and other mental disorders seemed disoriented, stumped, and sometimes hallucinated when the first symptoms appeared. All these signs indicate a condition called delirium. It turned out that this condition affects 20% or more of patients who are hospitalized in hospitals with a diagnosis of COVID-19. Researchers also found that previous coronavirus outbreaks were associated with a high level of mental disorders in the subsequent period.

It’s important to understand that during a pandemic, the psyche needs protection

Delirium - mental disorder, the characteristic symptoms of which are confusion, impaired attention, perception, thinking and emotions.

Past experience

Past experience shows that during an outbreakSARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003 and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2006, more than 25% of those infected experienced symptoms such as impaired concentration, confusion and mood swings - all this suggests delirium as a symptom of coronavirus.

But if delirium is a short-term state, thenwhat does it matter? As it turned out, patients suffering from delusions are at least twice as likely to die in a hospital. Those who develop delirium during their stay in the hospital remain in the hospital for about a week longer than other patients. This means that there may be real problems with free beds in hospitals for new infected.

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Obviously, in the absence of large-scaleResearch into coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19, analysis of past epidemics may help scientists get some idea of ​​what to look for in the next few months and years. According to available data, 15% of patients who underwent SARS and MERS had depression, and another 15% had anxiety disorder. However, mental illnesses are quite common, so it’s hard to say how many of these people had mental health problems before the illness.

Depression is a mental disorder whose main symptoms are a decreased mood or loss of ability to have fun.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - A severe mental state that occurs as a result of a single or repeated stressful events that have a powerful negative effect on the psyche.

Pandemic consequences

But what’s really amazing is the frequencycases of PTSD, which is more than 30%. According to the researchers, this is a huge number of people whose disease is difficult to attribute to anything other than the experience of contracting SARS and its treatment. Scientists also call fatigue a big problem: 19% of patients reported a lack of strength a few months after the “recovery”. But these results must be used very carefully in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, since most patients are not treated in hospitals, where they can report their condition, but at home.

And yet, something about the people most exposedthe risk of developing mental disorders after the disease was found out: among the group of patients with the disease in severe form, depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorder were most often observed. Moreover, as the results of three scientific studies have shown, medical workers are most at risk of developing depression and PTSD.

Generalized anxiety disorder is a disorder characterized by general anxiety unrelated to certain objects or situations.

But no matter the reason, the researchersThey believe that the world should prepare for the subsequent growth of mental disorders, since the pandemic of the new coronavirus can have a devastating effect on the psyche of a large number of people. Intervention should be evidence-based and - most importantly - should not worsen the situation. Psychological analysis, when the therapist calls on you to talk in detail about the traumatic event, sounds reasonable, but there is convincing evidence that this can worsen the situation, only increasing the risk of subsequent mental illness.

To learn why suicides are increasing during a pandemic and how to stay healthy, check out our channel on Google News.

In fact, the reasons why those developor other psychological disorders after recovery from COVID-19, a great many. Perhaps the virus directly affects the brain or the body's immune system goes into an overload state. At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that the psychological consequences of coronavirus are the result of social isolation or psychological trauma caused by a severe course of the disease or loss of loved ones.

One way or another, judging by the already available data,Doctors suggest evaluating the mental state of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 for delirium, as well as paying attention to methods of treating such conditions. Have you or your loved ones experienced a decline in mental health during a pandemic? Let's talk about this difficult topic in our Telegram chat