Home / Science / Health /  Does Covid-19 lead to depression? Here's all you need to know

Though Covid cases around the world have started to subside, but it's side effects has not. As per New York Times report, the risk of developing symptoms of depression remains high up to a year after you’ve recovered from Covid.

Many studies have been done to prove connection between covid and mental health. As per a WHO report, Covid had taken a dire toll on mental health and indicated that cases of anxiety and depression had swelled by more than 25 percent worldwide. The brief, which was based on an umbrella review of a vast number of studies, determined that the world saw a 27.6 percent increase in cases of major depressive disorder in 2020 alone. There was also a 25.6 percent hike in cases of anxiety disorders worldwide during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As per Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the chief of research and development at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System has told New York Times that there’s something about the coronavirus that really affects the brain.

“It’s a seismic event," said Dr Al-Aly said. He further added that some get some people get depression, while some can have strokes, anxiety, memory disorders and sensory disorders while some have no neurological or psychiatric conditions.

As per Meghan Hosye, a rehabilitation psychologist who works with I.C.U. patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, told New York Times that patients who suffered from severe Covid-19 symptoms and had to stay at a hospital during their illness have increased chances of depression.

As per WHO report, Women and girls were more affected than males, and younger people, especially those between the ages of 20 and 24 were more affected than older adults. The study also showed that people living with mental disorders had an increased risk of severe illness and death from Covid.

Moreover, patients who experience extensive sleep disruption, social isolation or a significant change in behaviors may be more likely to face depression after the physical symptoms of Covid-19 fade away. 

Studies have revealed that coronavirus can affect your brain. In fact, more than one-third of patients are seen to be developing neurologic symptoms. Dr. Stephanie Collier, psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School, explained that apart from such infections, the pandemic has also resulted in worsening mental health outcomes due to the psychological toll of isolation, loneliness, unemployment, financial stressors etc.

“The prescription of antidepressants has spiked, intimate partner violence has increased, and suicidal thoughts are on the rise, especially in young adults."

Signs of depression due to Covid 

If you have been keeping low for days or weeks after the initial recovery, then it is a sign of depression. As per Dr. Hosey, exhaustion or have a feeling of being overwhelmed which lead to interfere with day-to-day activities or negatively affect relationships with others can be a sign of depression. 

Apart from this, some may experience sadness, tearfulness, irritability, changes in appetite or weight, trouble thinking or concentrating, or feelings of immense guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness. 

Those suffering from severe depression may also develop suicidal feeling. 

Recovery from depression due to Covid

Consulting a professional is an ideal approach. As per Dr. Hosey, “Recovery from depression is a very individualised process." Many recover after a brief course of treatment, but may also relapse. She also added that sometimes, it may resolve even without treatment. 

Having a good diet, adequate sleep can also be a small step to resolve mental health health issues. Some research have also suggested that exercise and meditation may also help heal the mind in some cases.

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