The COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe in 2020 and not just claimed millions of lives, but also affected the mental health of millions who survived. The World Health Organization in 2022 noticed that the number of anxiety and depression cases increased by 25 percent during the first year of the pandemic. As time passed researchers found more evidence that the coronavirus managed to affect the mental health of many people infected.
In a study in 2021, it was found that about half of the American adults had symptoms anxiety or depression after a COVID-19 infection. The risk of developing such symptoms along with other mental health disorders remains up to a year after the person has recovered from the infection. Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University opined that it does not surprise him that the Pandemic could leave such a big impact.
There are a number of things that people have gone through during this phase and it include grief from losing loved ones, disturbance in daily routine, social isolation and more such events especially during the early pandemic days. There were many people who also managed to avoid the infection and had to deal with the tough living conditions. However, people who got infected remained vulnerable to mental health issues. Al-Aly also said that there is something about COVID-19 that affects the brain. He added that some people got depression, while others experienced anxiety, sensory disorders and even memory disorders.
The surprising part is that still many people did not have any neurological or psychiatric conditions. The scientists are still figuring out how COVID-19 affects the brain. The research so far has indeed hinted to a few things. Like, when the infection hits, the immune system goes overdrive and could lead to inflammation throughout the body, even the brain. There is also evidence that the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels were disturbed during the COVID-19 infection.
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