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1 in 5 coronavirus patients suffer mental illness within 90 days

Coronavirus isn’t just a cold or like the flu. New research suggests patients suffer from mental illness, too

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A man gets a COVID-19 test in Utah.

A man gets a COVID-19 test at Pleasant Grove Recreation Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

A new study suggests that a significant amount of COVID-19 patients suffered from mental illnesses not long after their diagnosis.

  • The illnesses include anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
  • Serious psychotic disorders were not as common.

The new research — published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal — found that 20% of observed COVID-19 patients had psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety within 90 days of their diagnosis.

  • The researchers looked at data from 69 million people. Only 62,354 of those patients had COVID-19.
  • The researchers wanted to see if COVID-19 patients were more or less likely to suffer from mental health complications.

The study found those who had COVID-19 were at great risk for post-illness of anxiety, insomnia and dementia compared those who suffered from the flu or other respiratory illnesses, according to The Hill.

Key quote:

  • “Survivors of COVID-19 appear to be at increased risk of psychiatric sequelae, and a psychiatric diagnosis might be an independent risk factor for COVID-19,” the authors wrote, according to The Hill.

Mental health issues on the rise:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently surveyed 10,000 Americans about mental health during the pandemic.

  • The study found depression and anxiety rose sharply between March and June.
  • Young people were hit hard, too. About 11% of all respondents said they had “seriously considered suicide” during the early days of the pandemic. That number was nearly double (about 1 in 4) for teens, according to NPR.
  • In September, experts expressed worry about a potential rise in teen anxiety and depression due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as I wrote about for Deseret News.