Coronavirus provokes a change in the psyche: those who recovered develop disorders within 90 days

Coronavirus causes mental change in patients

Almost every fifth patient recovered from the coronavirus is at risk of developing a mental illness. The scientists came to that conclusion, observing the course of the disease and the patients who survived. While the pandemic is spreading, the doctors have found that it can cause severe pneumonia and even lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with severe cases, which increases the likelihood of death.

As they studied the infection, the scientists learned that the COVID-19 can affect not only the lungs and intestines, but also it can affect the heart, brain and blood vessels. But these are not the only complications caused by the disease.


The scientists at the University of Oxford found that people diagnosed with the coronavirus can develop a mental disorder that includes anxiety and depression. It occurs 90 days after diagnosis. In addition, they found that people with a previously diagnosed mental disorder were 65% more likely to get the COVID-19 than people with a healthy psyche.

These results are based on the analysis of medical records of 69 million patients. Of these, more than 62 thousand people had a confirmed diagnosis of the coronavirus. The researchers measured the incidence of mental disorders, insomnia, and dementia during the first 14 to 90 days after diagnosis.

It turned out that insomnia, depression, anxiety became constant companions in many recovered patients. Most of them also had a high risk of developing dementia. For patients with a healthy psyche before the coronavirus, the body turned out to be vulnerable, it could not protect itself from influenza, respiratory tract infections and skin infections.


The prevalence of psychiatric disorders detected within 90 days of diagnosis was over 18%. About 1.6% of them were elderly people over the age of 65. The scientists believe that the COVID-19 patients are at increased risk of mental health problems.

Journal reference: Taquet, M., Luciano, S., Geddes, J., Harrison, P. (2020). Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA. The Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30462-4