COVID and mental health: New study finds possible link to psychiatric disorders

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Social isolation, economic stress, loss of loved ones and other struggles during the pandemic have contributed to rising mental health issues like anxiety and depression, but can having COVID itself lead to an increased risked of developing mental health problems?

A new study released this week is connecting COVID and mental health.

It shows people who survived the virus during the first few months of the pandemic have a significantly higher risk in developing mental health disorders.

Dr. Robert Shulman, a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center, joined ABC7 to help us break down what the study findings mean.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal The BMJ, found that people who had COVID were 39% more likely to be diagnosed with depression and 35% more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety over months following the infections.

COVID patients were also 38% more likely to be diagnosed with stress and adjustment disorders and 41% more likely to be diagnosed with sleep disorders, compared to uninfected people.

However, the data does not suggest that most COVID patients will develop mental health symptoms.

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