Saint Sophie's Psychiatric Center

Fargo, North Dakota

Long-term Mental Health Effects in COVID-19 Patients

20 Sep, 2021 | Recent, Mental Health, Depression | Return|

COVID-19 has left its mark on all of us. The pandemic altered our entire way of life, and it's taken its toll on people's mental health. For those who contracted the virus, however, there could be a significantly higher risk.

Studies have reported nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients diagnosed with various psychological issues in the months following their bout with the illness, including anxiety and depression. There is even early evidence of a connection between COVID and the onset of symptoms of dementia.

How Does COVID-19 Effect Mental Health?

We're still learning about the ways COVID-19 can affect the brain, but there are several possible causes:

  • The fear and uncertainty that comes with the diagnosis
  • The toll of body-wide inflammatory response
  • Effects of long-term "brain fog," or feeling of cognitive impairment
  • Additional stress if the patient was admitted into a hospital
Mental Health Symptoms for To Watch For After COVID-19?

Mental Health Symptoms for To Watch For After COVID-19?

Many post-COVID patients experiencing symptoms of psychological issues are encountering them for the first time. They might not know they're dealing with a mental health issue. It's important to identify signs of depression or an anxiety order early to pursue the proper treatment.

Symptoms of Anxiety Include:

  • Feelings of restlessness or irritability
  • Difficulty focusing or remembering what you were doing
  • Muscle tension
  • Problems falling and staying asleep

Symptoms of Depression Include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed
  • Feelings of hopelessness and emptiness
  • Suicidal thoughts

What Is the Connection Between COVID-19 and Dementia?

Connections between COVID-19 and dementia are still being researched. There are concerns over some long-term effects of COVID resembling early dementia symptoms. There's also a possible thread between dementia diagnoses and COVID patients who experienced delirium as a symptom. Former COVID-19 patients could benefit from being aware of the early signs of dementia.

  • Increased sense of confusion
  • Loss of memory
  • Noticeable personality changes
  • Difficulty following conversations or keeping track of time and location

It's relatively common for patients recovering from COVID-19 to experience some of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and dementia⁠—to a degree. However, if they persist, it could be time to reach out to a health professional. You can also take our Depression Screening Test.

Saint Sophie's Psychiatric Center in Fargo, North Dakota Can Help with Anxiety and Depression After COVID-19

At Saint Sophie's Psychiatric Center, our team of counselors, nurses, and our resident psychiatrist, Emmet M. Kenney, Jr., M.D., dedicate themselves to helping manage and treat anxiety and depression. We offer telehealth services, diagnosis & medication management, as well as psychotherapy and counseling. Contact us today if you or someone you know has had COVID-19 and is concerned about lasting psychological effects.

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