"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Agency issues advisory on mental health symptoms of Long COVID

June 23, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a advice to assist healthcare professionals higher recognize the mental health symptoms that may accompany Long COVID.

The nine mental health symptoms highlighted within the advice Are:

● Fatigue

● Cognitive impairment, including brain fog

● Fear

● Depression

● Obsessive compulsive disorder

● Sleep disorders

● Posttraumatic stress disorder

● Psychotic disorder

● Onset of a substance use disorder

The statement noted that social aspects can contribute to mental health problems amongst members of racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with limited access to health care, individuals with mental illness and physical disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex people.

“Long COVID has a number of distressing physical symptoms and can affect a person's mental health. It can be very challenging for a person, whether they are affected themselves or are caring for someone who is affected,” said Health Secretary Xavier Becerra. it said in a statement. “This notice helps raise awareness, particularly among general practitioners and clinicians, who are often the ones treating patients with Long COVID.”

According to the department, about 10% of individuals infected with COVID have at the least one long-COVID symptom. Physical symptoms include dizziness, upset stomach, heart palpitations, problems with sexual desire or performance, lack of sense of smell or taste, thirst, chronic cough, chest pain and abnormal movements.

“We know that people living with Long COVID need help today, and providers need help understanding what Long COVID is and how to treat it,” Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, assistant secretary for health, said within the statement. “This advisory helps fill that gap regarding the impact of Long COVID on behavioral health.”