A new study shows that people with COVID-19 were more likely to develop a mental health condition when compared to people who never had the disease.
As the months and years pass, researchers are discovering more and more risk factors of COVID-19. A new study reveals that patients with the disease are at higher odds of developing a variety of mental health problems.
The study, published in the journal The BMJ, showed that the pandemic had an extra influence on mental health, aside from the expected stress of isolation and anxiety surrounding the disease. People who experienced COVID-19 showed higher odds of developing a mental health disorder when compared to people who never caught it.
The study was large, analyzing data of over 150,000 patients in the Veterans Health Administration. The only data that was analyzed was the one belonging to patients with no mental health diagnoses or treatment for at least two years before contracting COVID-19. Researchers found that patients with COVID-19 were 35% and 39% more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety, respectively, in the months following infection than people who didn’t have the disease. Infected people were also 41% more likely to be diagnosed with a sleep disorder than uninfected people.
While most people who get COVID-19 won’t develop a mental health condition (only 4.4% and 5.6% of people in the study received diagnoses for a mental health condition), it’s still a connection between the two, one that should be paid attention to.
Other interesting results that are worth keeping an eye on include patients who had COVID-19 being more likely to turn to alcohol (20%), opioids (34%), and more for relief.
Odds are the majority of us experienced some mental distress during the pandemic. For some, coping with the disease responsible for the deaths of millions of people all over the world might have added some understandable extra stress.