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Covid-19’s Mental Toll Showing a Steep Rise – Need We Be Worried?


October 10, 2020 marked the World Mental Health Day.

This day came at a time when our daily lives have transformed significantly.

The past few weeks has brought on tremendous challenges to the medical community.

Providing care has become difficult with both medical professionals and patients living in fear of catching the dreaded virus in clinical and hospital settings.

People with mental health conditions are facing tougher times by feeling socially isolated and cut off from societal support.

Given the past experiences of pandemics, it is expected that the need for psychological encouragement will increase considerably in the coming months.

One of the latest studies on neurological symptoms among Covid-19 patients show that nearly 30 percent of the hospitalized patients are showing altered mental functions.

Arlington urgent care doctors say, “Delirium and unresponsiveness are now common occurrences and we are apprehensive that these patients may have worse medical outcomes”.

Some patients even after being discharged from hospital were unable to go about doing their normal duties like cooking and paying bills.

The medical term for such a type of illness is called encephalopathy, which means something is wrong with the brain.

Doctors say patients suffering from encephalopathy experience short term memory loss, confusion, and daze-like consciousness.

Researchers nevertheless say that there is very little evidence that Covid-19 directly affects brain cells but believe that the neurological effects could be due to inflammatory and immune system responses that affect the brain.

Dizziness, muscle pain, and headaches were among the many neurological symptoms people have experienced.

Doctors at Arlington urgent care center say, “There is an increase in the number of patients coming to us seeking care for muscle pain and stupor. In additional to providing them with medications, we also offer them psychological support and reassurance that they will get well soon”.

Doctors are on track when they come to a conclusion that this pandemic has exponentially increased the rates of clinical depression and anxiety.

People are using the term “depressed” to describe an assortment of feelings including boredom, listlessness, suppressed anger and guilt.

Lacking access to excitement and fun are some of the reasons why people are feeling bored during the pandemic lockdown.

“It is part of human nature to desire contact with others”, says a psychologist.

Friendly conversation with friends, partying, touching and hugging fulfils the need for human contact. These cannot be substituted by digital devices and social media.

Yet, to some extent, texting and reconnecting with friends via telephone calls is providing some kind of a respite but these do not suffice.

We long for real in-person experiences.

Psychological distress usually takes a long time to persuade people to seek medical care.

It could be generalized anxiety disorder that can last for up to six months.

To arrive at a definitive diagnosis, people must experience psychological distress for an extended period of time.

The fear of Covid-19 infection has intensified the distress of many persons especially those that have comorbidity and are losing access to regular care.

We are going through challenging times indeed and it is no wonder that this year’s World Mental Health Day has greater significance than ever before.

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