The coronavirus pandemic has affected millions of people across the world. The disease has affected different people in different ways. While the elderly were the worst affected, there were younger people too who faced a lot of health-related issues because of COVID-19. When at its peak, COVID-19 forced people into home isolation and they faced various degree of mental health challenges. Many are still affected by the mental health issues related to the coronavirus. New research has now revealed that those who have had infected with the virus had a significantly higher chance of experiencing mental health problems. The finding of the research, which was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, were published in the journal ‘The BMJ’.
The study found that people faced mental health related disorders within a year after recovery from the virus in people who had serious as well as mild infections.
In a large, the study found that those infected with the disease were 60 per cent more likely to suffer from mental health related problems than those who were not infected with the virus. This led to the increased use of prescription medication to treat issues related to mental health. This also increased the risk of substance use disorders including opioids and nonopioids such as alcohol and illicit drugs.
“We know from previous studies and personal experiences that the immense challenges of the past two years of the pandemic have had a profound effect on our collective mental health,” said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University. “But while we’ve all suffered during the pandemic, people who have had COVID-19 fare far worse mentally. We need to acknowledge this reality and address these conditions now before they balloon into a much larger mental health crisis.”
According to a report, more than 403 million people globally and 77 million in the United States have been infected with the virus since the pandemic started.