What’s causing psych disorders in Covid-19 patients?

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One in five patients are being diagnosed with psych disorders within 90 days of their diagnoses.

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- Extreme stress, anxiety, and insomnia are just a few of the psych disorders that doctors are seeing in patients who have been diagnosed or survived Covid-19.

“You’re not really alone with what you’re experiencing,” said Dr. Reggie Ferreira, Associate Professor at Tulane University of Social Work and program director of the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane.

With nearly 15 million cases of the virus recorded in the U.S. and the death toll reaching more than 282,000 doctors are seeing alarming side effects.

Within 90 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19, one in five coronavirus patients are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.

“The survey that we are conducting currently, looking at resilience and stress, we’ve actually seen what a significant increase in stress,” shared Dr. Ferreira.

Like anything else, adding stress to the mix is like adding fuel to the fire.

“Things like anxiety, depression, even post-traumatic stress disorder might develop as a result of having been affected by Covid,” explained Dr. Ferreira

Doctors are now considering the coronavirus pandemic a natural disaster.
One question we asked Dr. Ferreira, “Is this normal?”

“Yes, it’s definitely normal. I think one thing that we all need to remember is that this is global at this stage,” shared Dr. Ferreira. “So, there are several people that are having similar symptoms.”

Dr. Ferreira says, people can bounce back from this side effect and the process is called mental resilience.

“One can definitely recover from this important aspect to keep in mind, it is the self-care. Some advice is, you know, exercise if at all possible. The emotional and social support has proven through research that it is actually an enabler of being resilient,” shared Dr. Ferreira. “So, tap into your social networks that you have, your family your friends. Taking care of yourself first. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves.”

Fear of being so close to death, worries of hospital bills, loss of job and guilt can all be contributing factors to Covid related psych disorders.

If you are experiencing any of these, seek a doctor’s help or call 911.
Links below are resources if you need help in this situation:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
https://rainn.org/

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