People who have recovered from COVID-19 show increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, insomnia and depression, according to Italian researchers. In a survey of more than 400 people given a follow-up exam a month after treatment for COVID-19, more than half experienced at least one of these disorders depending on the inflammation level during the disease. Based on interviews and questionnaires, doctors found PTSD in 28% of cases, depression in 31%, anxiety in 42% of patients, and insomnia in 40%, with obsessive-compulsive symptoms in 20%. Women in particular experienced high levels of anxiety and depression, despite the lower severity of the infection. The mental health consequences of COVID-19 can be caused both by the immune response to the virus itself and by psychological stress factors such as negative stigma, social isolation and worries about infecting others. These mental health problems are in addition to evidence that COVID-19 might also cause physical damage to the brain.
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