Long Covid signs: The mental health issues cited after coronavirus – study findings

Long Covid: Dr Sara Kayat discusses impact on children

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The NHS notes that the chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19. The health body says if the symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or a service that specialises in the specific symptoms you have.

A study published in the BMJ notes mental health issues have been reported after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Researchers Assessed anxiety and depression symptoms using two validated questionnaires in 413,148 individuals between February and April 2021, including 26,998 who had tested positive.

They adjusted for physical and mental prepandemic comorbidities, body mass index, age and sex.

Overall, 26.4 percent of participants met screening criteria for general anxiety and depression.

The researchers found anxiety and depression were slightly more prevalent in previously positive people, 30.4 percent, versus negative individuals, 26.1 percent.

The study notes: “This association was small compared with the effect of an unhealthy BMI and the presence of other comorbidities, and not evident in younger participants under 40 years.”

Nonetheless, it says the findings were robust to multiple sensitivity analyses.

It also says the association between Covid infection and anxiety and depression was stronger in individuals with recent, under 30 days, versus more distant, greater than 120 days. infection, “suggesting a short-term effect”.

Ultimately, researchers said a small association was identified between SARS-CoV-2 infection and anxiety and depression symptoms, meaning the proportion meeting criteria for self-reported anxiety and depression disorders is slightly higher than pre-pandemic.

The NHS says: “Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety – it’s a normal reaction when we’re in danger or under threat. Ongoing anxiety can start when we don’t feel in control.”

It explains that a stressful event like having coronavirus (COVID-19) or experiencing a stay in hospital can cause anxiety.

“For many people these symptoms will only last for short periods of time, but some symptoms may continue for longer and can start to affect your daily life,” notes the health body.

The NHS explains: “Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, you should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life. For example, if anxiety stops you doing things that matter to you.”

The health body also says: “How long it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for everybody.

“Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.”

The health body says that people who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.

It says you should contact a GP if you are worried about symptoms 4 weeks or more after having COVID-19.

The NHS notes other common long COVID symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • Joint pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Tinnitus, earaches
  • Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • Rashes

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