The Main Effects of COVID 19 on Mental Health | Free Essay Sample

Published: 2022-02-15 15:02:51
The Main Effects of COVID 19 on Mental Health | Free Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Mental health Mental disorder Covid 19
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1097 words
10 min read

COVID-19 has become one of the most global pandemics of the 21st century. Millions of people have faced this viral disease and its consequences. The fact is that SARS-CoV-2 negatively affects many organs and vital systems of the body. Unfortunately, mental health is also at risk. Even after recovery, many patients face mental dysfunctions and other problems. But how does the virus affect the psyche? Here are the key reasons for post-COVID mental problems.

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Why Do Mental Health Problems Occur and What Are They Associated With?

Like any other virus, SARS-CoV-2 affects the central nervous system. Neurotropism is a feature shared by all COVID-19 variants. Some studies show that the virus directly infects the cells of the central nervous system and affects the functions of the brain. In particular, coronavirus contributes to inflammation of the brain tissue. So it leads to demyelination and destruction of the coating of the nerve cell processes. Such organic damage directly affects the risk of mental problems and post-COVID diseases.

What Mental Problems Can COVID Cause?

In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study and found that mental problems occur in about 35% of people with coronavirus. The main symptoms of mental disorders are insomnia, anxiety, impaired attention, concentration, and memory impairment. In some cases, people may even be in altered consciousness or experience depression.

Approximately one in four patients experience headaches due to inflammation of the brain tissue and intracranial pressure. Delirium, or a disorder of consciousness, manifests mainly in people over 60. As a rule, such mental problems are accompanied by convulsions. Besides, WHO researchers have identified SARS-CoV-2 as an artificial trigger for emotional dysfunction, increased aggression, dysphoria, and persistent irritability.

In rare cases, people experience catatonia, a movement disorder accompanied by intense emotional and physical arousal. The fact is that the active phase of the disease is associated with intoxication oxygen starvation of the brain and can cause an exacerbation of diseases of the neurological and psychiatric spectrum. As a result of post-COVID complications become triggers for emotional and intellectual dysfunctions. If the patient has experienced complications and fever, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder are high.

The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on People With Mental Problems

Many patients with psychiatric disorders may experience severe complications, as anti-COVID medications can trigger psychosis, hallucinations, and inappropriate behavior. The main problem lies in the decompensation of chronic diseases. The fact is that COVID-19 directly causes hypoxia. As a result, the brain does not receive the required oxygen from the blood. Consequently, patients become disoriented and may even harm themselves.

However, the virus affects the worsening of mental problems. Socio-psychological and economic factors also aggravate people's morale. Quarantine restrictions are the so-called "depressive trigger," which affects the emotional state and contributes to increased anxiety. As a result, people may experience sleep disturbance, uncontrolled aggression, or complete apathy. Here are the main triggers for people with mental problems:

  • frequent contact with potentially sick people;

  • fear of infecting relatives;

  • depressed due to quarantine restrictions;

  • uncertainty about the effectiveness of treatment;

  • fake COVID news and total disinformation.

In 2021, Chinese researchers found that the pandemic directly affects even the mental health of those people who have not contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Potentially healthy people also experience depression and anxiety due to constant stress. Such an emotional state can aggravate mental problems and become a prerequisite for depression. Unfortunately, most people are at risk, regardless of the strength of their immune system.

Possible Post-COVID Mental Disorders

Usually, a severe form of coronavirus contributes to an increased risk of mental dysfunction even after patients recover. Approximately a third of people worldwide are faced with nervous dysfunctions and mental anomalies. Complications manifest as constant moral fatigue, speech dysfunctions, and short-term memory and concentration deterioration. Such consequences lead directly to the occurence of depression.

The key problem is that many mental problems appear only after several months when antibodies in the human body have destroyed the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first mental problems may be mild. For example, patients may experience drowsiness, apathy, and reduced concentration. As a rule, re-infection can exacerbate mental problems up to the occurrence of hypochondria or phobias.

In 2021, the University of Maryland scientists found that more than 30% of all people with coronavirus have an increased risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, insomnia and chronic mental fatigue occur in approximately 35% of patients during remission. Moreover, every tenth person is at risk of experiencing post-traumatic depression within three months after infection. COVID also contributes to an increased risk of dementia, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and chronic insomnia.

Another common psychological disorder is the so-called "guilt phenomenon," when a person feels guilty towards relatives and friends for no apparent reason. Such a mental problem is associated with a disruption in the functioning of neurons. As a result of this dysfunction, building cause-and-effect correlation is disrupted. Consequently, people blame themselves for any problems, even if they had nothing to do with some incidents. Unfortunately, this psychological problem is typical for many patients around the world.

Psychological and Cognitive Rehabilitation

WHO recommends a set of psychological and mental practices for those who can cope with the disease. In particular, patients need to undergo cognitive-behavioral rehabilitation, including memory and attention training and mental exercises. The main task of such training is to normalize the emotional state and reduce depressive patterns. Psychotherapy also has a positive effect on depression due to quarantine restrictions. Mental exercises are especially effective for people in the so-called "red quarantine zones."

Art therapy and listening to instrumental music have had a positive effect and accelerated the rehabilitation of people with post-COVID mental problems. Patients need to create an isolated space without negative news about the pandemic and the economic crisis. The fact is that all such information triggers negatively affect the rehabilitation process. In some way, people should stick to the "news vacuum" to not provoke mental disorders and anxiety.

Why Shouldn't Mental Problems Be Ignored?

Everyone should know that SARS-CoV-2 is a neurotropic virus that chooses nerve cells to spread throughout the body. This fact is the rationale for many neurological and mental disorders. The problem is that the virus can affect people differently, and the consequences can be extremely negative. Many people experience long-term mental dysfunction, so prevention is very important.

The support of rehabilitation specialists and psychologists helps reduce mental illness risks. Thanks to the self-control and support of doctors, all patients have a chance to minimize mental problems and avoid irreversible psychological trauma. A timely diagnosis of mental problems will help many people return to normal lives and not experience depression.

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The Main Effects of COVID 19 on Mental Health | Free Essay Sample. (2022, Feb 15). Retrieved from

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