Covid 19 Depression, Trauma And Anxiety

How Does Covid 19 Depression Affect Our Mental Health?

Nearly 20 percent of COVID-19 patients developed a mental health issue — like depression, anxiety, or dementia — within 3 months of diagnosis, according to a new study. [1] A large number of people are developing depression after covid 19 as the virus causes life-threatening symptoms and collective trauma.

The spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could be associated with psychiatric implications. There are numbers of individuals struggling with Covid 19 depression due to the amplified stressors.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has added to increased feelings of isolation and vulnerability to many individuals especially those who have Covid 19 Depression and those who had depression already, even before the pandemic.

Being isolated from your loved ones causes stress and vulnerability to mental health issues, some are experiencing depression after covid 19.
Being isolated from your loved ones causes stress and vulnerability that can develop into some people experiencing covid 19 depression.

Covid 19 Depression & Trauma

Any danger to the balance of the mind of a person may increase suicide risk factors too. A dramatic change in lifestyle and stresses such as COVID-19 may lead to suicidal ideas and conduct. The present pandemic has increasingly drastic detrimental consequences on general mental health, including deterioration of existing issues such as contagion fear, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and chronic stress.

Scientists are still uncovering how the new coronavirus impacts the brain and the central nervous system, but they believe the infection could inhibit blood and oxygen flow to the brain and in some cases, trigger brain swelling. [2]

There is no significant evidence yet if the covid 19 can affect the brain even after recovery from the virus. But, there’s a lot of cases that depression after covid 19 may develop in anyone vulnerable to the disease.

Furthermore, being diagnosed in and of itself is stressful: The novel disease is potentially life-threatening, and those who get sick are asked to isolate themselves from loved ones. Symptoms can occasionally persist for months, disrupting people’s everyday lives and functioning and putting them at risk for mental health issues.

In the immediate wake of a traumatic experience, large numbers of affected people report distress, including new or worsening symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Most people will recover, though that recovery can take some time. A notable fraction of people will develop chronic symptoms severe enough to meet the criteria for a mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depressive disorder.

Covid 19 Depression Looking After Our Mental Health

The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus, and worrying about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.

Here are tips and advice that WHO [3] listed and we hope you will find this useful as well.

  • Keep Informed: Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio, and keep up-to-date with the latest news.
  • Have a Routine: Keep up with daily routines as far as possible, or make new ones
  • Get up and go to bed at similar times every day
  • Keep up with personal hygiene
  • Eat healthy meals at regular times
  • Exercise regularly
  • Allocate time for working and time for resting
  • Make time for doing things you enjoy
  • Minimize Newsfeeds: Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed.
  • Social Contact is Important: If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.
  • Alcohol and Drug Use: Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Don’t start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.

There is no evidence of any protective effect of drinking alcohol for viral or other infections. In fact, the opposite is true as the harmful use of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of infections and worse treatment outcomes.

And be aware that alcohol and drug use may prevent you from taking sufficient precautions to protect yourself again infection, such as compliance with hand hygiene.

  • Screen Time: Be aware of how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Make sure that you take regular breaks from on-screen activities.
  • Video Games: While video games can be a way to relax, it can be tempting to spend much more time on them than usual when at home for long periods. Be sure to keep the right balance with off-line activities in your daily routine.
  • Social Media: Use your social media accounts to promote positive and hopeful stories. Correct misinformation wherever you see it.
  • Help Others: If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it, such as helping them with food shopping.
  • Support Health Workers: Take opportunities online or through your community to thank your country’s health-care workers and all those working to respond to COVID-19.

Don’t Discriminate

Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But sometimes fear is expressed in ways that are hurtful to other people. Remember: 

  • Be kind. Don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID-19.
  • Don’t discriminate against people who you think may have coronavirus.
  • Don’t discriminate against health workers. Health workers deserve our respect and gratitude.
  • COVID-19 has affected people from many countries. Don’t attribute it to any specific group.

Why We Should Not Ignore Covid 19 Depression

People who experience more severe stressors, such as exposure to the dead or dying, and people with more prolonged disruptions are more likely to experience enduring symptoms that would benefit from intervention.

We also know that people are more likely to develop chronic or severe reactions if they have one or more risk factors, such as poor social supports, financial difficulties, food or housing instability, or a history of mental illness. Receiving economic or social supports and using coping strategies can lower these risks and maximize a person’s chances for recovery.

Several surveys, including those collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have shown substantial increases in self-reported behavioral health symptoms. According to one CDC report, which surveyed adults across the U.S. in late June of 2020, 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days.

Depression after covid 19 is not surprising as many individuals are experiencing collective trauma in this pandemic.
Covid 19 depression is not surprising as many individuals are experiencing collective trauma in this pandemic.

These numbers are nearly double the rates we would have expected before the pandemic. As in prior studies, this survey showed that risk factors for reporting anxiety symptoms or suicidal ideation included food insufficiency, financial concerns, and loneliness. [4]

Emerging data also indicate that people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses have also been hard hit by the pandemic. Individuals with schizophrenia, for instance, are nearly 10 times more likely to contract COVID-19 and are nearly three times more likely to die from it if they do fall ill, compared with individuals who do not have a mental illness.

Finally, deaths due to opioid overdose rose substantially in the context of the pandemic. These data remind us that we need to work hard to address long-standing disparities and ensure access to life-saving medical and psychiatric care is available for all Americans. [5]

Symptoms of Covid 19 Depression

Depression can have different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depressive disorder changes how they function day-to-day, and typically for more than two weeks. Common symptoms [e] include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Loss of energy
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
  • Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death  or suicide

Covid 19 Depression and Treatment Options

Recovery from depression can take time, but there is always hope. There are many steps in depression treatments that you can take to manage this disorder. A medical professional can also offer referrals and they can encourage you to continue your treatment with a mental health specialist.

While more people are becoming aware of depression and its effects, the stigma tied to the condition continues. Also, your loved ones may remain silent. Many of them are fearful of making the situation worse for the person they care about. If you suspect a loved one could be experiencing a depressive episode, there are ways you can offer support. You can begin by talking with someone — anyone — about your feelings and finding immediate emotional support through sharing.

Getting support is essential in overcoming depression and depression covid 19 depression is no different. It can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression on your own. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult for someone who has it to reach out for help. [6] When you are depressed, the tendency is high to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that about 7% of U.S. adults experience depression each year. [7] Depression symptoms take many forms, and there are no two people’s experiences that are exactly alike. A person with depression may not always seem sad to others.

It is normal to want to reach out and lend a hand when you see a family member or friend experiencing an episode of depression. But, when it comes to covid 19 depression, what you can do to help is not always clear.

Clinical depression is different from sadness or grief — like when you experience a relationship breakup when you lose a loved one or lose your job — unlike sadness, depression does not stop after only a day or two. Even simple things — like getting dressed in the morning or eating at mealtime — can feel like large obstacles for a person that has depression.

Clinical depression goes by many names, such as “the blues,” biological or clinical depression, and major depressive disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source estimates that over 264 million people live with depression. And not everyone is getting proper depression treatment.

Inpatient Treatment for Covid 19 Depression

Covid 19 depression may lead to long-lasting symptoms that may get in the way of your ability to function at work and function in real life. Dealing with severe depression is never easy. And it is even more difficult when you’re also struggling with other co-occurring mental health problems.

To effectively recover, individuals may need to seek treatment for multiple depression-created disorders simultaneously. A treatment plan that focuses on all issues may allow the patient to recover from the entirety of related disorders effectively.

Mental health problem treatment may include:

  • Medication
  • individual or group therapy
  • self-help measures
  • lifestyle changes
  • family and peer support

If you or your loved one is suffering from covid 19 depression, an inpatient depression treatment center can offer intense recovery treatment. To find out more about integrated mental health depression treatment therapy, contact us today at We Level Up FL Treatment Center. We’re committed to providing the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. We provide an enhanced opportunity to return to a fulfilling and productive life.

Sources:

[1,2] People with COVID-19 More Likely to Develop Depression, Anxiety, and Dementia – https://www.healthline.com/health-news/people-with-covid-19-more-likely-to-develop-depression-anxiety-and-dementia

[3] Looking after our mental health – World Health Organization

[4] Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[5] One Year In: COVID-19 and Mental Health – National Institute of Mental Health

[6] Major Depression – National Institute of Mental Health

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