A Milan, Italy, study found more than half of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors suffer from a psychiatric disorder after being released, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported.
"After three weeks of treatments, I was healing from COVID, at home, had no fever, and just a little cough," a patient noted in the study published in the medical journal Science Direct.
"But sometimes at night, my breath could go away all of a sudden, making me feel as if I was to die. I knew what it was, because I had suffered from panic attacks in the past. I stayed there out on the balcony, for hours, trying to put fresh air into my lungs. It was terrible. Panic made me suffer more than COVID."
The study set out to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the brain and 402 patients from San Raffaele hospital in Milan participated. The findings revealed a large proportion among of survivors – 265 men and 137 women – suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTSD), anxiety, insomnia or depression one month after being discharged, per the report.
"It was immediately clear that the inflammation caused by the disease could also have repercussions at the psychiatric level," Professor Francesco Benedetti said in a statement, per the Mail.
Among the mental health ailments reported:
- Anxiety 42%.
- Insomnia 40%.
- Depression 31%.
- PTSD 28%.
- Obsessive-compulsive symptoms 20%.
Physical inflammation in the brain and psychological stress of the global coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the conditions, the study surmised.
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