One in three COVID-19 survivors suffers from a neurological or mental disorder within six months of infection, saysmainly looking at American patients.
Among ICU patients, 7% suffered a stroke and nearly 2% were diagnosed with dementia. The researchers also found that 17% of patients developed anxiety and 14% suffered from mood disorders.
“The people most at risk are those who were sickest, the hospital patients who were in intensive care. These are the ones who are most at risk for the most serious conditions, “psychiatrist Dr Sue Varma said on” CBS This Morning “Thursday.” The scariest part is people who don’t have symptoms of COVID or very mildwho have resolved, or known prior psychiatric illnesses, they are also at risk for anxiety and depression. “
The study found that people reporting these neurological and mental health conditions had, in many cases, never experienced them before.
“It’s so scary, especially when you hear voices or the voices telling you to hurt yourself or other people or that other people are there to catch you,” Varma said.
Varma, who is not affiliated with the study, noted that it could sometimes be difficult to separate the impacts of the virus from the impacts of the economic and other effects of the pandemic.
And although similar symptoms can appear after other viral infections, the study found that people with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have them as people with the flu.
“Never underestimate or downplay your mental health issues as they can be very much related to the inflammation caused by COVID in the body,” Varma said.
The sudden change in mental health surprised many people with COVID-19, including adventure photographer Ivan Agerton, 50, of Seattle. He likened the change to a light switch after recovering from his infection.
“I felt this intense paranoia hit me,” Agerton told CBS News’s Ian Lee. “I couldn’t escape it – every person I saw would trigger this intense fear.”
When the former Marine first contracted COVID, he feared for the health of his wife and three young children. It was after thinking he had recovered that he began to experience what he considered to be a mental illness.
“I heard voices outside my window. I thought I could hear people in the bushes, ”he recalls. “It was absolutely the most terrifying thing I have ever known in my life.”
There was a turning point, however – after receiving his vaccination two weeks before, Agerton said he “started to feel really good”.
And while his new troubles are “under control,” Agerton is still worried about how long they will torment him.