A report was published in The Lancet on November 9, 2020, explaining that 18% of people who had COVID-19 developed a mental health issue within three months of their diagnosis.
COVID patients twice as likely to develop mental health issues
Researchers from the University of Oxford and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre studied the health records of 69 million people in the US and of those 69 million, 62,000 had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
They noted that nearly 6% of adults who had COVID-19 had developed a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, for the first time within 90 days of their results compared to 3.4% of people who didn’t have COVID-19.
Elder patients had two to three times greater risk of developing dementia.
Furthermore, those who had already been diagnosed with a mental health disorder were at a 65% greater risk of catching the virus.
How does COVID-19 affect the mind?
Naturally, being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease will induce stress and anxiety.
Jessica Stern, PhD, a psychologist and clinical assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health said:
Given the novelty and scope of the pandemic, there is little-to-no framework, particularly during the lifespan of the majority of the population alive, for how to manage the threat to health, lifestyle, and societal change,
Moreover, recovering from the virus can have an effect on the mind as it can be exhausting depending on how severe your symptoms are. For some people, it can take months to fully recover from COVID-19, making it hard to get back to your regular routine.