People who have had COVID-19 may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as anxiety or depression. Researchers looked at the medical records of 69 million people in the United States between January 20 and August 1, 2020. The data included 62,000 people who contracted COVID-19 as part of what the authors described as the largest study so far on links between coronavirus and mental health challenges
In the three months following testing positive for COVID-19, almost one in five survivors (18%) were found to get a psychiatric diagnosis. This is about twice as likely as for other groups of patients with different illnesses and conditions analyzed as part of the study over the same period. The majority of the diagnoses were related to anxiety or depression, however, these diagnoses are made commonly when people present to doctors and it may be unsurprising that this has happened a bit more often in people with COVID-19.
Now we have one more thing to be aware of. Do we need to react? Probably not, however, if you have residents recovering from COVID-19 who present with increased anxiety, irritability, and/or depressive symptoms it may be worthwhile having a psychiatric evaluation. Remember, these can be done using telehealth services, no need to share the virus, share the information instead! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!