COVID-19 Survivors at Risk of Depression and Other Disorders

Two studies have given insight into how COVID-19 symptoms are associated with the probability of subsequent depressive symptoms or psychiatric disorders.

The first study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has found that some COVID-19 patients who suffer from prolonged symptoms after recovery, including anxiety, mood disorders, sleep problems, and fatigue, are also at a greater risk for depression.

The study looked at more than 3,900 Americans with prior COVID-19 illness surveyed through online questionnaires between May 2020 and January 2021. Participants were asked to indicate the presence or absence of specific symptoms and self-report the overall severity of COVID-19 infection. The participants then completed a screen for symptoms of depression with those scoring higher than 10 considered to be suffering from depressive symptoms. The average length of time since initial COVID-19 symptoms was four months.

A total of 2046 participants (52.4%) met the criteria for symptoms of major depressive disorder. The results of the study demonstrated that depressive symptoms were more prevalent in younger patients, men, and those who self-reported their COVID-19 infections to be more severe.
Read the full article on Psychology Today
Originally published on Psychology Today on March 16, 2020 
© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.