Long Covid patients have higher rates of depression and anxiety

In a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers found that people with long Covid or post-Covid conditions are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to healthy individuals. The study, which included 25,122 adults, also revealed that those with post-Covid conditions are more likely to face financial barriers when trying to access therapy.

The authors of the study emphasized the importance of improving access to mental health care for individuals with post-Covid conditions, noting that many participants were not receiving the treatment they needed. They suggested integrating mental health services into post-Covid care pathways and including mental health professionals in multidisciplinary clinics to better support patients.

Lead author Hiten Naik and his team analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to better understand how long Covid patients are managing their symptoms. They found that over 15 million adults in the U.S. are estimated to have long Covid, with a significant portion experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and cognitive issues.

The study highlighted the challenges that individuals with post-Covid conditions face when seeking mental health care, including stigma and medical gaslighting. The authors emphasized the importance of clinicians being aware of these challenges and providing appropriate support to patients.

The World Health Organization defines long Covid as persistent symptoms that occur for more than three months after surviving a Covid-19 infection. Previous studies have also found a high prevalence of depression and anxiety among individuals who have had Covid-19.

Overall, the study sheds light on the mental health impacts of long Covid and underscores the need for improved access to mental health care for individuals with post-Covid conditions. By addressing these challenges, healthcare systems can better support patients in their recovery journey.


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