BCI doctors to bTV: Mental disorders are a pandemic in the pandemic

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Pandemic in the pandemic – that’s what specialists call the growing number of anxiety and depression states during a coronavirus. Patients talk openly about their experience of infection, but rarely about their mental anguish. And the problem is getting worse.

Seven people with COVID-19 are currently being treated at the Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment in Cardiology in Veliko Tarnovo. Two of the patients have anxiety and depression.

Anaesthesiologist Dr Vladimir Nikolov is one of the doctors treating the coronavirus patients. That’s why he was among the first to notice a deviation in behavior.
“Anxiety, irritability, more marked motor activity. Judges his symptoms and his condition itself through what he sees at the time. Expectation and reality very often mismatch in these patients who exhibit mental problems,” Dr Nikolov said.

Symptoms are triggered in 80% of patients, most often after the fifth day of their hospital stay. Therefore, since the beginning of the pandemic, patients with COVID-19 at the hospital have been under observation by a psychiatrist.

“I hear them every day. First of all, it’s a crisis intervention that I do, especially for new patients, because COVID-19 itself is stressful. And this stress arises from the fact that the patient with COVID-19 loses many things – he loses his job, he loses his normal life, he loses his social contacts, he loses his physical health, he loses his finances, and thus he also loses control of his life. In patients with COVID-19 who are hospitalized, the depression is twice as much and of much greater severity,” says Dr. Aneta Misheva, psychologist at the Veliko Tarnovo Hospital.

The results of a large study by psychologists show that one in five coronavirus survivors develop anxiety, depression or restlessness within three months.

“Whether he will suffer from insomnia, whether he will complain of excessive sweating, of palpitations, increased blood pressure, with frequent urination urges, stomach pain. This is already a vegetative symptomatology that develops within an anxiety. There are also behavioral manifestations. These behavioral manifestations make you move more. Starting an activity and never finishing it,” said Dr. Misheva.

Post-coronal symptoms are changes in memory, sensations, perceptions.

“So-called post-COVID conditions, which are extremely diverse and can affect any tissue and any organ. I can say that four out of five patients, 80%, continue to have at least one and many times more than one complaint after experiencing COVID-19. Particular attention should be paid to depressive states, which without timely help, instead of subsiding, worsen, psychologists advise,” says Prof. Dr. Iana Simova, Head of the Bulgarian Cardiology Institute in Sofia.

See the full report here.

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