We have been living in the midst of a pandemic for years now, and with that has come a number of lasting effects. One of these effects, which has been talked about more and more frequently, is mental health. Living in social isolation under extreme stress isn’t good for anyone’s mental health, and now we’ve been doing it for years. Because of this new pressure, more focus is being placed on mental health, especially within its connections to COVID-19.
A recent blog post is looking specifically into the correlation between mental health conditions and complications from COVID-19. It found that being impacted by one of these conditions, such as depression – or having a history of these conditions – heightens the chance of being hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.
Mental Health and COVID-19
The general mental health of society has been declining over the past few years, deteriorating under the pressure of the stress associated with the pandemic. Unemployment, financial issues, health-related stress, and isolation, among others, have all contributed to this decline. As the pandemic has continued to evolve and affect the U.S. population, the government responded by adding mental health conditions to the list of high-risk conditions for the novel coronavirus.
Medical research also supports the addition of mental health conditions to the list of high-risk conditions, as numerous studies have connected these conditions to serious health outcomes in COVID cases. While the reasoning behind this connection remains unclear, there are a number of theories. These are:
- Poorer mental health relates to poorer physical health overall
- Struggling with illnesses such as depression can stop one from practicing healthy lifestyle techniques
- Some mental disorders lessen the chance of one protecting themself from the pandemic, such as wearing a mask or social distancing
- A physiological response to mental illness is immunologic stress and inflammation, which leads to poorer health outcomes as well
In the future, especially as the pandemic continues to develop, we must pay attention to the connections between mental and physical health. It is important to note that the severity of one’s condition relates to the severity of its physical impacts as well. For example, mild anxiety will not yield the same effects as severe, chronic depression.
To combat the possible negative outcomes associated with these conditions, we should seek help when we need it. Find resources, whether these are organizations, friends, family, or others, that can offer support.
Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically.