People feeling anxious after surviving Covid ‘should seek help’, experts warn

PEOPLE who have had Covid should seek help if they are feeling anxious, experts have warned.

It comes after a study found the virus increases the risk of mental illness.

If you're feeling more anxious than before, Covid may be to blame


If you’re feeling more anxious than before, Covid may be to blamePhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Oregon State University researchers matched 46,610 Covid-19 positive people with patients diagnosed with another respiratory infection.

They then compared how their mental health was affected 21 days and four months after their onset of illness.

Covid patients were 25 per cent more likely to have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in the four months following their infection than patients who had another common fault.

They had a 3.8 percent rate of developing a psychiatric disorder, compared to three percent for other respiratory infections.

The difference of eight percent corresponds to a 25 percent increased relative risk.

Co-author Lauren Chan, a Ph.D. Nutrition student at OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences worries people aren’t getting the treatment they need.

She said: “For people who have had Covid, if you are experiencing anxiety, if you are seeing some changes in your life from a psychiatric perspective, it is entirely appropriate to seek help.

“There could certainly be people who are struggling with new things like this and they need that extra support or urge to seek help.

“I’m not saying that every single person who gets Covid will have this type of problem, but when you start to worry about yourself or a family member, it’s not uncommon.

“You should definitely take care of yourself or others around you.

“And if you’re a healthcare provider, you have to be on the proactive side and start looking for those psychiatric conditions and then follow up on those patients.”

The study, published in the World Psychiatry Journal, is among a series of studies warning Covid survivors to watch out for symptoms of mental illness.

A study published in the Lancet Public Health journal in March suggested that the sicker someone was with Covid, the longer they suffered from sleep deprivation and stress after recovery.

People who were bedridden with a more severe infection for seven days were more likely to have depression and anxiety up to 16 months later.

Researchers in Iceland said it could be due to inflammation, as well as concerns about developing a long covid.

Long Covid is defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as symptoms lasting more than four weeks.

In some people, symptoms can last for more than 12 weeks, in what the NHS calls ‘post-Covid syndrome’.

The most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, pain, shortness of breath, brain fog, and loss of taste or smell.

And research since the pandemic has shown how Covid can trigger other health conditions as well.

These include type 2 diabetes, blood clots, brain damage and heart attack, which research has shown are more commonly diagnosed in people who have had Covid.

Do YOU ​​have anxiety or depression?


There are different types of anxiety disorders.

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) worry about a number of things in their lives most days for at least 6 months.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Feeling restless, agitated, or nervous
  • Tire easily
  • have trouble concentrating; mind becomes empty
  • Be angry
  • have muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Sleep disorders, such as difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night, restlessness or unsatisfactory sleep

Another more common form of anxiety is panic disorder, which causes repeated and unexpected panic attacks, sometimes triggered by a trigger.

During a panic attack, people may experience:

  • Palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
  • Sweat
  • tremors or tremors
  • Sensations of shortness of breath, choking or choking
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control


There are many symptoms of depression, including a bad mood, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, lack of energy, and trouble sleeping.

The more symptoms someone has, the more likely they are to be depressed, the NHS says.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, you may be suffering from depression if you have some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, almost every day, for at least two weeks:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or tiredness
  • Move or speak more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Trouble sleeping, waking up early in the morning or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or attempted suicide
  • Pain, headache, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not improve with treatment

The NHS has a mood assessment tool to help you determine if you have any signs of anxiety or depression.

If you or someone you know needs help coping with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support: People feeling anxious after surviving Covid ‘should seek help’, experts warn

Sarah Y. Kim

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