Bedridden COVID-19 patients are more at risk for anxiety and depression more than one year after their infection, according to a new study.
What they found: A new study, published in The Lancet Public Health, found feelings of depression and anxiety can last about 1.5 years after experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
- People who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to feel depression or trouble sleeping, per NBC News. But those issues lifted about two months later.
- Those who had such severe COVID-19 that they were bedridden for at least seven days were more likely to experience those mental health issues more than a year later, according to NBC News.
Yes, but: COVID-19 patients who suffer from mild COVID illness are at less risk for those mental health symptoms even compared to the general population, according to USA Today.
What they’re saying: “The good news is that the patient group as a whole is not at higher risk of developing long-term (mental health) symptoms,” Unnur Anna Valdimarsdóttir, a psychiatric epidemiologist at the University of Iceland, who helped lead the research, told USA Today.
- “There might be a relief associated with having gone through the infection,” she said.
Method: The research — which included 247,249 people from across Northern European countries Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom — followed patients from February 2020 to August 2021.
Worth noting: The researchers said it’s possible that general long COVID-19 symptoms — such as fatigue, brain fog and physical fatigue — could lead to mental health issues, too.
- “It may be that this group of patients is still experiencing physical symptoms that fuel the mental health symptoms, or vice versa,” Valdimarsdóttir said.