Long covid related mental illness
Covid-19 has resulted in both concerns and direct effects surrounding physical and mental illness. Evidently, the virus itself displays physical signs of respiratory infection and vulnerability. Yet the cause of covid is in fact increasing the risks of poor mental health, through both short-term effects and long covid.
Long covid is where symptoms of the virus display for a prolonged period of time, deterring quality of life. From a cognitive standpoint, long covid is highly associated with depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders, found through both cause and effect.
Although long covid is relatively new, when considering research and the scope of its impacts, data to this date highlights the increasing rates of mental illness. It’s found that 1 in every 4 people, displaying signs of long covid, will also encounter mental health issues to some degree.
Caused by a number of factors, from the physical suffering of the pandemic to the neurological changes as a result of the virus, long covid related mental illness is a worry, adding to an already flooded health crisis. Subsequently found as both a cause and effect, long covid is also aggravating existing diagnoses of mental illness, increasing the demand for support and treatment.
For support through mental health worries, we at Step One Recovery are here to offer compassion, direction, and treatment and therapies to alleviate such symptoms. Reach out for a private chat about your needs.
Mental illness as a result of Covid-19
From the consequences and disruptions that covid has caused, to the neurological vulnerabilities due to low oxygen levels and changes to the brain structure, mental illness is a short-term result of covid-19.
Around 69% of UK adults, across the period of the pandemic, have experienced bouts of poor mental health, including feelings of panic, anxiety, and loneliness. All directly caused by the response to covid, such as lasting lockdowns and scaremongering, trajectory across poor mental health as a whole has deteriorated by 8.1%.
Now considering the internal changes caused by covid as a virus, brain injury is a side effect of transmitting moderate to chronic levels of covid, linked to the symptoms of brain fog, memory loss and PTSD. Without treatment, symptoms can develop into mental health symptoms, along with long covid.
Here’s how severe long covid related mental illness can become, considering some already encountered diagnoses.
Long covid related mental illness
Poor mental health has been and will continue to be rife through experiencing covid from an illness perspective and from the circumstances that it’s resulted in. Many individuals will be living with undiagnosed or untreated mental health conditions, either aggravated or developed through the pandemic.
Through the symptoms of long covid, experiences of poor mental health, resulting in illness is prevalent, causing concern for the long-term effects of contracting the virus. 235,379 adults of research participants have been studied to understand long covid related mental illness and its development, where 24% had experienced anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and insomnia. In addition, those with chronic life-limiting covid, 28% have been found to develop symptoms of psychosis, caused by trauma, neurological changes, and the stress of recovery.
Making it very difficult to resume with normality, as restrictions and disruptions lift, long covid related mental illness is reducing the quality of life and wellbeing. Symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression can be very challenging to manage, especially while surrounded by the continuous effects of covid.
Difference between cause and effect
Understanding and differentiating cause and effect is very important, to gauge whether covid itself is the trigger for poor mental health on a mass scale. For some, covid will stand as a cause for long covid symptoms, from both internal and external standpoints. For others, the effects of covid will have aggravated pre-existing vulnerabilities of mental illness, linked to genetics, environments, relationships, trauma, and perceptions.
Due to the infancy of research into long covid related mental illness, it’s therefore important to consider all influential factors, along with receiving a personal diagnosis. A professional diagnosis can help to understand the trigger of mental illness, and where long covid stands within such development.
Treatment options, help and support
Covid itself as a period has been tough, requiring support across a multitude of means. Help and support will be invaluable through short-term mental health vulnerabilities, along with the effects of long covid, to reduce impact and complications.
Poor mental health can be treated and managed, to restore quality life and cognitive functionality. Reasonably, depending on the cause of mental illness and the personal experiences of covid/long covid, programmes and recommendations of treatment will vary.
Psychological treatment and therapies will however be beneficial to work through and digest the symptoms of mental illness, including bouts of cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, exposure therapy and prescription medications. In some instances, niche treatments will be recommended, such as treatment for panic, for obsessive behaviours or for chronic stress, such as stress management and coping strategies, to suppress symptoms.
Living with long covid related mental illness can be the case for a number of months post-covid, which will remain to be an unfamiliar territory for some time, down to the emergence of covid. With that being said, sourcing support and treatment as soon as possible will be recommended, to reduce the impacts of long covid.
Available through outpatient care and inpatient rehabilitation, mental health support and treatment services can be accessed and completed to deter future vulnerabilities of long covid.
We at Step One Recovery can help you access such support through our associations of treatment centres, invaluable through the struggles of covid. More and more individuals will unfortunately encounter covid, from its short-term physical effects to its long-term mental effects. Reaching out for 24/7 support and suitable bouts of treatment will be encouraged.
Encountering symptoms of PTSD, mood disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, mental impairment and personality changes are normal responses, linked to the cause and effect of long covid. However, normalising such struggles for the long-term shouldn’t be the case, very difficult to break away from alone. Consider professional support through long covid related mental illness, to improve quality and the presence of life.