What are the effects of the Corona virus on mental health and does it cause depression and lead to suicide?

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What are the effects of the emerging corona virus “Covid-19” on mental health? Is there a relationship between it and depression during the infection period or in the post-recovery period? These and other questions are answered in this interview on Al-Jazeera Net with the psychiatry consultant Dr. Walid Sarhan, who provided us with the latest medical data on Corona and mental health.

  • Does the emerging corona virus attack the nervous system?

Yes, the emerging corona virus attacks the nervous system, specifically the brain, which leads to psychological and neurological conditions associated with infection and may remain after the infection has ended.

  • Does it affect the brain and neurotransmitters like serotonin during infection?

Yes, the new Corona virus affects brain cells, and it may damage some of them, as well as affect chemical neurotransmitters in the brain.

  • After recovering from the infection, will the damage or the impact of the Corona virus continue?

Unfortunately, yes, recovering from Corona does not mean the end of the problems, there is constant fatigue and difficulty breathing, in addition to depression, anxiety, psychosis and dementia.

  • What are the long-term neurological and psychological effects of Corona virus?

From the studies available so far, the Corona virus affects society in general, and cases of corona phobia, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, increased addiction and suicide, and it affects those with it during infection and after infection, and psychological injuries after infection with Corona may reach 50% of patients.

  • Is there a relationship between Corona and depression during the infection period or the post-recovery period?

Yes, there is a clear relationship, and there is an increase in depression cases among those without depression, and its return to those who had previously suffered it, or its rise after infection with Corona or after recovering from it.

  • How common is depression among those recovering from Corona?

Depression and mental disorders are widespread among those recovering from Corona, and may total up to 50% of them, and depression occupies the largest part of them, followed by anxiety, schizophrenic psychosis, dementia and other disorders.

  • Does corona raise the risk of suicide?

Yes, the world is currently registering clear increases in suicide rates in various countries, and it is expected that they will continue to increase, which requires global action to support mental health.

  • Does corona virus affect and increase the risk of other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia?

Yes, an increased risk of other mental health conditions is possible, and is not limited to depression, including schizophrenia, mood disorders and forms of dementia. Also, schizophrenic patients who contract the virus have high deaths, which makes us demand that these patients be given priority in vaccination.

  • Are there treatments that can be received to alleviate the psychological effects of Corona?

Reducing the psychological effects of Corona on society requires maintaining a balance in food, sleep and exercise, and compensating for social distancing by communicating through other means, or in the event of symptoms that persist and increase, the patient’s condition must be evaluated and appropriate treatment prescribed based on the diagnosis. While patients are in hospitals for treatment for Corona, it is recommended that they be psychologically evaluated by hospital psychiatrists.

After recovering from Korna, and in the event that a person feels a change – he or his family – in his psychological state or mood … etc., there is no doubt that he needs treatment like other mental illnesses at other times.

Dr. Walid Sarhan: The Corona pandemic is a viral disease, but its implications for mental health are apparent (Al-Jazeera)
  • What are your advice for those recovering from Corona?

I advise those recovering from Corona the following:

  1. Gradual return to their activities.
  2. Pay attention to sleep and nutrition.
  3. Do not rush in physical activities, but exercise slowly.
  4. In the event of difficulty sleeping, persistent difficulty breathing, severe or moderate distress, inability to enjoy life, and persistent states of anticipation and fear, they should not delay in seeing a psychiatrist for evaluation or treatment.

“Finally, I say that the Corona pandemic is a viral disease, but its implications for mental health are now apparent, and it is expected that a large wave of mental health disorders will continue for some time after the end of the pandemic,” Sarhan concluded.

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