COVID-19 Survivors May Be Emotionally Scarred And At Increased Risk For Anxiety, Depression, And PTSD

HealthDay (5/7, Thompson) reports experts warn that COVID-19 survivors “will be emotionally scarred by their time spent in an intensive care unit (ICU), and they are at increased risk of psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Dr. Joshua Morganstein, chair of the APA’s Committee on the Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters, said that in addition to the potential trauma of being in the ICU, the virus might cause psychiatric or neurological problems itself, “There certainly are many infectious illnesses that have associated with them the development of temporary or permanent neuropsychiatric symptoms that can range from things like mood changes to confusion or cognitive impairment, to pain or fatigue.” Dr. Morganstein advised, “When a person’s body and mind is trying to respond to and manage a severe infection, this can be disorienting and fatiguing. Health care workers should take their time when they are talking to articulate clearly and speak in a gentle but audible manner to patients, to help ensure the patients understand what is happening.”

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