What We Know About Long Covid: Symptoms Causes Conditions
The results showed that people who reported psychological distress before they got infected had a 32% to 46% increased risk of long Covid, compared to people who did not report such distress. And those who reported high levels of two or more types of psychological distress, such as both depression and anxiety, had a 50% increased risk.
What’s more, the study found a stronger association between long Covid and psychological distress than long Covid and some of its known physical risk factors, such as obesity, asthma and hypertension.
The factors that we identified are more strongly associated with risk of long Covid than pretty much anything else anyones found,” said Andrea Roberts, an author of the study and a senior research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The findings indicate that mental health can have an effect on physical Covid symptoms, the researchers said. But they emphasized that the long Covid symptoms among the patients studied were very real and arose as a result of their infection.
The results shouldnt be misinterpreted as supporting post-Covid conditions as psychosomatic, said Jacqueline Becker, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who wasnt involved in the research.
Identifying Signs Of Anxiety And Depression
What is stress, and what happens when you can’t cope well with it?
Stress can present itself after being fired from a job, going through a divorce or losing a loved one. Even getting married, transitioning to a new job or having a baby can cause stress. Everyone experiences stress at one time or another.
Many people define stress as either good or bad when it’s neither. Stress is an event you view as out of your control, and it typically occurs outside your daily routines. How you react shapes your ability to cope with these and other similar events in the future.
When people struggle to cope with stressful situations, depression and anxiety become more noticeable.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are common. These illnesses affect more than 40 million adults in the U.S., or about 18% of the population, every year. The World Health Organization has estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 27.6% increase in depression and 25.6% increase in anxiety disorders worldwide in 2020.
Treatment Options For Ibs Related Depression And Anxiety
As mentioned, living with IBS often causes symptoms of anxiety and depression to arise, and the severity of symptoms is much higher in those whose IBS symptoms arent properly treated.
What many patients with IBS dont realize is there are actually 3 different types of IBS.
While they all fall under the same diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, determining the form of IBS helps determine the most efficient route of treatment for managing symptoms.
Read Also: What Herbs Help With Anxiety
Use Of Alcohol And Cannabis
Compared to those who did not screen positive for GAD, MDD, or both disorders, those who screened positive were:
- 1.5 times more likely to report daily or almost daily heavy drinkingFootnote 5
- 1.5 times more likely to report increased alcohol use since the beginning of the pandemic
- 2 times more likely to report daily cannabis use
- 2.5 times more likely to report increased cannabis use since the beginning of the pandemic
Try To Eat Balanced Meals
Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.
You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.
Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Muscle Pain
Social Anxiety Vs Depression
Depression and social anxiety can look similar from the outside, but their root causes tend to be different.
For example, both depression and social anxiety can cause the following symptoms, but the symptoms themselves often have different sources:
- Withdrawing from others. In the case of social anxiety, fear causes the avoidance. If you live with depression, withdrawing from others could have more to do with loss of motivation and lack of enjoyment in that activity.
- Feelings of shame or worthlessness. While depression usually causes these feelings in a more straightforward way, someone with social anxiety might experience these symptoms as a result of avoiding social situations.
- Confusion or brain fog. When depression causes these symptoms, its more likely due to feeling numb or tired. But when social anxiety causes them, it can be a result of your fight, flight, or freeze response making it harder to communicate.
- Substance use. People with depression may misuse substances in an effort to manage emotions, like guilt or hopelessness. Meanwhile, people with social anxiety may use substances in social settings to dull the anxiety those situations cause.
What Is The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression
Part of the reason why anxiety vs depression can be difficult for many people to identify is that there are overlapping symptoms in the two conditions. Also, keep in mind that many people diagnosed with major depressive disorder may also have an anxiety disorder. In fact, nearly half of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
So, what is the difference between anxiety and depression?
While there are many common symptoms between anxiety and depression such as fatigue, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating there are also some blatant differences. For example, excessive worry is more common with anxiety, whereas thoughts of suicide are more prevalent with depression.
Anxiety and depression also fall into different classifications of disorders. Anxiety is its own class, and depression is a separate mood disorder. Finally, another difference between the two conditions is that theyre sometimes treated with different medications.
To best understand the differences listed above, its important to review these disorders in-depth.
Also Check: Why Do I Have Anxiety When I Wake Up
Are They The Same Thing
The short answer is no. The medium answer is yes, sort of. For the long answer, read the rest of the article.
You sometimes see them described as:
Two sides of the same coin.
And others describe it as:
Depression is an obsession with the past. Anxiety is an obsession with the future.
So, they are not the same thing. However, they are closely linked. It is worth asking what exactly we mean by the same thing. Learning the skills to overcome one with dramatically help you in coping with the other, for example.
Below, I will break down each area and compare the two.
Anxiety And Depression Mediated By Avoidance
After anxiety was shown significantly and positively to predict depression 1214 years later, the next model tested if the relationship between anxiety and depression was mediated by avoidance. We first examined if anxiety predicted both avoidance and depression , and if avoidance predicted later depression . The goodness of fit indices for this analysis were 2 = 662.84, p< .01, RHO = 0.995, CFI = 0.996, RMSEA = 0.028, suggesting a good fit. In this model, anxiety significantly predicted avoidance , and avoidance significantly predicted depression . Additionally, the residual direct effect showed that anxiety significantly directly predicted depression . As such, based on the joint significance test, avoidance partially mediated the relationship between anxiety and depression . Please note that the magnitude of the mediation explained was 5.1% of the variation between anxiety predicting depression .
N = 6504. In this figure, anxiety at wave one is predicting avoidance at wave two. Additionally, anxiety at wave one and avoidance at wave two are predicting depression at wave four.
Also Check: How To Control Poop Anxiety
The Most Common Depressive Disorders Include:
- Major depressive disorder This is a depressed mood that lasts for a two-week period. This could occur as a single or recurrent episode.
- Persistent depressive disorder This is a depressed mood that occurs almost every day for at least two years
It’s common for those struggling with anxiety disorders to also struggle with depression or vice versa. Close to 10% of the world’s population suffers from anxiety and depression. However, while anxiety and depressive disorders are highly treatable, only a small percentage of affected people receive treatment.
Neuroimaging And Gene Function
Neuroimaging has also seemed to offer a further advantage: access to measures of brain function that might be intermediate to and more sensitive than illness phenotypes to genetic analysis. The early observation of a possible link between genetic variation of the 5-HTTLPR gene and neuroticism suggested the hypothesis that there might be a more detectable effect of polymorphism in this gene and amygdala function. This has proved controversial and again highlights general problems for the field. Thus, a recent meta-analysis has indicated that there is a statistically significant but small effect of 5-HTTLPR on amygdala activity.25 However, perhaps more striking was the between-study heterogeneity and the evidence for excess statistical significance. In summary, all the individual published studies have been considerably underpowered to detect the size of effect that is likely to be present, which is smaller than originally thought. In addition, the retreat to a very small or no effect for genetic variation exactly parallels what was summarized previously for this gene and its association with neuroticism. Therefore the claimed advantage of intermediate phenotypes may also be wrong. Measures of systems level neurocognition with fMRI may be no more or less helpful than the behavioral phenotypes like neuroticism or DSM diagnosis for genetic analysis.
Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Cause High Bp
The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression
While anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state, anxiety and depression are more closely related than you might think. A person with depression often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having panic attacks.1
Anxiety disorders involve more than common nervousness and worry. They can cause terrifying fear about things other people wouldnt think twice about. Many people with anxiety disorders fully comprehend that their thoughts are irrational. But they still cant stop them. Feelings of losing inner control haunt them. This angst is one of the entry ways for depression.2
Supporting Someone With Anxiety Or Depression
There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:
- let them know if youve noticed a change in their behaviour
- spend time talking about their experiences and let them know youre there to listen without being judgmental
- help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
- suggest they go to a doctor or health professional, and help them to make an appointment
- offer to go with them to their appointment and follow up with them afterwards
- encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
- encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but dont pressure them to participate in activities
- contact a doctor or hospital if they become a threat to themselves or others.
It is unhelpful to:
- put pressure on them by telling them to snap out of it or get their act together
- stay away or avoid them
- tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
- pressure them to party more or wipe out how theyre feeling with drugs and alcohol
- assume the problem will just go away.
If you or someone you know needs support, talk to a doctor or other health professional about getting appropriate treatment.
Read Also: Can Depression Run In Your Family
Don’t Miss: What To Take For Insomnia And Anxiety
Treatment For Anxiety And Depression At High Focus Centers
At High Focus Centers, our clinicians, therapists, and staff work closely with individuals living with a range of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression. Contact us today to learn more about our adult and teen mental health treatment programs. Get in touch and have a friendly, non-judgmental conversation with our team. Start your path to a healthier life today!
Treatment Options If You Have Anxiety:
Wondering how to deal with anxiety? The following treatment methods can help you deal with your anxiety symptoms:
- Medication: Medication alone is not often a cure for anxiety disorders, but it can help with many symptoms. Prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety disorders may include anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or beta-blockers. Choosing the right medication can take time and needs to be done under the guidance of your psychiatrist.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, has been proven effective for people with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy is directed at your specific anxieties, and its customized to improve your individual needs and goals for therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one type of psychotherapy thats often used to treat anxiety disorders. Through CBT, you learn how to change your thinking and behavior.
- Support groups: Support groups can be beneficial for some people with anxiety disorders, but this option alone may not be enough.
- Stress management and relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, journaling are all great ways to help ease anxiety. Exercise and healthy sleep patterns are other potential options that have shown great success. Again, these techniques by themselves may not be adequate treatment. When used in combination with psychotherapy and/or medication, however, they might be very helpful.
You May Like: What To Do If You Keep Having Anxiety Attacks
Also Check: Do I Need Anxiety Medication
Treatment Effects: Psychological Interventions
Psychological treatments have been described for most anxiety disorders . A systematic review of 21 studies in patients with depression or anxiety disorders suggest that guided self-help has similar effectiveness to face-to-face psychotherapy38 and in a further 31 randomized controlled trials in anxiety disorders self-help interventions were more effective than being placed on a waiting list but less effective than therapist-administered treatments.39 The key development in self-help approaches will be Internet-based psychological treatments. Their place is not yet established but a systematic review of 52 studies in depression or anxiety disorder suggested that they held promise, notably for mild/moderate depression.40 Nevertheless, the highest effect is against waiting list, which is an unsatisfactory standard. The great advantage of computerization will be the potential for systematic comparison of the active elements of any psychotherapy by excellent matching of alternative treatments and large numbers of participants: this is simply not possible with traditional therapy based on very high-level cognitive constructs and a folk psychology emphasis on therapist behavior.
What This Means For You
If you struggle with social anxiety or depression, be intentional about your dating app use. Nosrati notes that, in the absence of an app, you might go out to a bar to meet people. But you wouldn’t go to the bar every single night. You might go once a week, or a few times a month. Treat your dating app use similarly.
Try not to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes a day swiping or looking for new matches on an app. If the app is causing you more anxiety or preventing you from doing other things you love, then that’s also a sign that your use might not be healthy.
Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin D Help With Anxiety
Researchers Find Serotonin As The Missing Link
IBS researches are exploring the role of serotonin, a valuable neurotransmitter that regulates mood and the ability to handle stress, and its relation to IBS. While serotonin fulfills an important role in mood regulation, its equally involved in many functions of the digestive system.
This important neurotransmitter performs the key role in communication between our guts and our brains.
Researches wonder if low levels of serotonin may be the cause behind both IBS and depression, as the symptoms behind both disorders seem to overlap with serotonin deficiency.
There Is Treatment For Anxiety And Depression Available Now
There is no one size fits all, but for most people there is a wide variety of very good reasons why they are experiencing anxiety and depression. These are very real and complex disorders that people cant just snap out of it.
But, the good news is that there are great treatment options available. And the sooner you reach out, the sooner you can start to feel better.
There is an abundance of help and support are available, with many treatment options to be found online .
So, dont delay start today!
Read Also: How To Cope With Dental Anxiety
To Cope With Anxiety And Depression Try These Tips:
Try diaphragmatic and square breathing techniques.
Diaphragmatic breathing involves taking a deep breath from your diaphragm. Your stomach should expand as you breathe in. Square breathing techniques involve taking a deep breath in for five counts, holding this deep breath for five counts, exhaling for five counts and finally holding for five counts before repeating. The entire time should be spent focusing on your breath versus the stressful event.
Challenge your thoughts.
This involves not judging situations good or bad and focusing on what you’re feeling and identifying what’s in your control. Your primary areas of control are acknowledgement of your emotions, feelings and your reaction to stressful situations. It is also important to focus on the facts of the situation. Sometimes your anxious and depressive thoughts are not always based in facts. Facts are 100% absolute not assumptions.
- How would I like the situation to turn out?
- What are the facts?
Then identify small, specific goals to get to your desired outcome. If you fail to acknowledge your emotions and feelings and attach a negative thought to a situation, the outcome of that situation will result in avoidance and increased anxiety and depression.
Focus on the facts.
Challenge yourself to find the facts in a situation and acknowledge whatever emotions and feelings the situation reveals. Doing so increases the likelihood you’ll be able to cope effectively with a stressful situation.