Some COVID-19 patients develop psychiatric conditions after diagnosis, study shows

Psychiatrists in north central Florida are offering advice to people headed back to work during...
Psychiatrists in north central Florida are offering advice to people headed back to work during the pandemic and are experiencing higher anxiety.(UF Health)
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 3:08 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A new study shows that patients who had no previous psychiatric history, but were diagnosed with COVID-19, have an increased incident of developing their first psychiatric diagnosis.

University of Oxford found in the study that patients were likely to contract a psychological condition 14 to 90 days after contracting COVID-19, according to a news release.

UW Health notes that some of the most prevalent conditions reported were anxiety disorders, insomnia and dementia.

UW Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain explained that people can start to feel anxious or depressed after their diagnosis because they worry that the virus will never go away.

“This not only highlights the need for psychological treatment and coping strategies that address the mental health toll of COVID-19 but also underscores the need for a public health response that acknowledges and addresses the pandemic’s mental health consequences,” Mirgain said.

Mirgain advised that people begin to develop a tolerance of uncertainty and focus on what they can control to let go of stress.

UW Health also recommends pacing yourself when it comes to the activities you have to accomplish, taking time to grieve losses during the pandemic and strengthening your support system. Patients can consider joining a COVID-19 recovery group or seek professional care with a behavior health specialist, Mirgain said.

Finally, patients should also consider finding meaning and purpose in their actions.

Mirgain added that COVID-19 “long haulers,” or those who experience lingering effects of COVID-19, often have a worse experience from a break in routine.

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