The Long- and Short-Term Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health

The novel coronavirus hat emerged from the central Chinese city of Wuhan has now spread to at least 187 countries and territories with more than 3.8 million confirmed infections and at least 269,000 deaths. The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020.

In order to “flatten the curve” and keep the number of cases at a manageable level for healthcare and medical facilities, governments all over the globe have taken precautionary measures that limit the spread of the virus. The measures include lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, public gathering prohibitions, and social distancing, self-isolation, and self-quarantining guidelines.

While these measures are crucial for the general public to follow, they are also fostering negative long- and short-term effects on mental health. For first-responders and essential workers who have no choice but to interact with the public and those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, the mental health ramifications are quite dire indeed. According to psychiatrists and psychologists, paramedics and emergency medical technicians are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the pandemic.

Here is everything you should know about the effects of the global pandemic on mental health.

Mental Health Risks Associated with Social Isolation

According to a health tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half (45 percent) of the adults in the United States reported that the stress and worry over the virus have negatively impacted their mental health. 72 percent of Americans reported their lives being disrupted “a lot” or “some” by the outbreak of the virus.

A large body of research links loneliness and social isolation to poor mental wellbeing and physical health. Research that studied the psychological impact of quarantining measures during previous disease outbreaks also indicates a link between quarantines and negative health outcomes. Concerns over suicidal ideation have also been central because isolation is a risk factor linked to suicide.

Post-Intensive Care Syndrome

According to Weill Cornell Medicine, Patients who need to be placed in an intensive-care unit (ICU) because of the disease are at an increased risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD after being discharged from the hospital. They may also develop significant cognitive impairment problems and impaired physical ability.

Patients who have survived a severe critical illness through intensive care may develop “post-intensive care syndrome.” This involves a combination of cognitive, psychiatric, and physical impairments to varying degrees. Cognitive impairments may include a decreased ability to solve problems and mental sharpness, decreased attention, and memory problems. Physical impairment problems can include malnutrition and weakness.

While most of us are social distancing, it doesn’t mean that we disconnect ourselves from others. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and family. Take things day-by-day and don’t pressure yourself to accomplish too much during this collectively difficult time. You should get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and stay hydrated.

We’re all in this together, and Bixahuman is honored to contribute to your wellbeing by using only the best herbal ingredients in our supplements.

Disclaimer: Bixahuman’s products are not intended for diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. Any information discussed in this blog is not a replacement for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor or physician for medical advice.

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