Since COVID-19 has affected the entire world, everyone who has been affected by this pandemic or one who is not affected by this can face a lot of mental issues as well. Therefore, you will be thinking about could COVID cause Depression. So, this article will help you to know this question in detail. Let’s read about it!
Viral Infections and Depression
Although the connection between viral infections and Depression is not new, it has recently gained more attention and understanding. According to a study published in the 2016 Brain, Behavior, and Immunity issue, those who had the flu during the previous 30 to 180 days had a 57 percent higher risk of developing new Depression than those who escaped the infection.
According to specialists, non-specific viruses like the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis, and others can also produce post-viral Depression.
Study in BMJ
According to Al-research Aly’s, published in the BMJ in February 2022, people with COVID had a 35 percent higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder and a 39 percent higher risk of experiencing a depressive episode a month after their illness. These increases were accompanied by an increase in the use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
This discovery is not unique in any way. According to research published in the April 2022 issue of the Journal of Neurology, COVID survivors who experienced exhaustion eight months following their illness frequently experienced high levels of apathy and worry.
Mechanisms causing the suffering
Although the exact mechanism by which could COVID-19 cause depression is unclear, there are various theories. According to Al-Aly, the SARS-CoV-2 virus may increase brain inflammation and activate microglial cells, immune cells in the central nervous system that release inflammatory chemicals.
“Inflammation can influence the parts of the brain that control affect and emotions, turning them up or down.”
Isolation & Loneliness
According to Pravesh Sharma, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Sciences in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, prolonged isolation and feelings of loneliness throughout the disease may have contributed to post-COVID melancholy.
“Sometimes people question why me?” regarding post-COVID Depression. That produces a lot of negative thoughts and has an impact on how individuals behave in daily life. These elements may set off a downward spiral that keeps people in a depressive condition.
Who is at Risk and Why
Although there is little study on the subject because COVID-19 is still in its infancy, experts think that those who have experienced sadness or anxiety are more likely to have post-COVID Depression.
In his therapeutic experience, Potter has noticed that either Depression develops after COVID or, if it already existed, is made worse by COVID. It might have been less severe or in remission.
According to specialists, those who experienced significant pre-infection stress, medical morbidities—such as obesity, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and the like—and more severe COVID-19 sickness are also at increased risk for post-COVID melancholy.
Long-term COVID syndrome, which might involve persistent memory, thinking, attention impairments, mood swings, exhaustion, and organizational difficulties such as trouble managing medication or money, can also include Depression.
Dyani Lewis, 44, diagnosed with COVID in March 2022, has firsthand experience with this issue. Even though she only had a minor case of the infection—“I’ve had colds worse than this,” she says—a week after it subsided, continued to experience daily headaches, dizziness that seemed like she was always moving, weariness, and a lack of drive. Her mood symptoms had been under control thanks to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) she had been taking for Depression since 2019—until they stopped.
Regaining a More Positive Attitude
There’s no need to wait it out if you have post-COVID Depression, even if some cases will go away on their own with time. Trivedi advises against blaming COVID for the situation and acting because it can persist longer than anticipated.
According to Trivedi, regular physical activity or exercise, which has anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects, is helpful for improving mental and emotional health. Connect with your town’s friends, family, and support groups to find social support.
Setting the foundation for improved sleep is also crucial since, according to Potter, “sleep issues and sadness go hand in hand—it’s bidirectional issue.” Getting enough sleep can improve your mood, whereas Depression might impair it.
“If you can improve your sleep, it frequently improves mood,” she advises. She advises improving your pre-sleep routines, making an effort to dim the lights, avoiding using digital devices in the evening, and going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to preserve a regular sleep-wake cycle.
You don’t need to quit trying to change your lifestyle to feel better. Depending on the intensity of your symptoms, counseling—especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps patients change negative thought patterns into more beneficial ones—might be beneficial.
According to Jed Magen, an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University in East Lansing specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry, behavioral activation is another helpful strategy. This skill is frequently incorporated into CBT and involves setting goals to help you get out and do things that can improve your mood.
Lindenmuth began to feel better using pharmaceuticals, talk therapy, and discussing her experiences with her social network. She gradually started working out more and rediscovering her passion for baking, dancing, and hanging out with friends. She claims, “I feel terrific now, and I have the energy I used to.
Lindenmuth states, “I’ve also rediscovered my creativity and a sense of clarity that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.” “I’m glad to be beyond the worst of it,” he said.
In the above discussion, we have talked about could COVID cause Depression, and observed a case study. Lindenmuth is not alone in going through post-COVID Depression and recovering from it. The research has shown that there are strategies to treat post-COVID Depression, just like there are for other forms of Depression, Potter says. “I would like people to know that post-COVID sadness is very, very common and that there is hope,” she adds. “We’re not inventing the wheel, even though it’s not fully understood,”