A study published in the ‘Annals of Behavioral Medicine Journal’ has found that people who suffered from anxiety, stress, and depression during the early days of the pandemic are more prone to getting Covid-19. The study shows that many people who reported Covid-19 had mental distress during the early phase of the pandemic.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries went into extreme lockdown leading people to confide in the four walls of their homes. People who are extroverted and like to spend more time socialising were left on the verge of isolation. It created a huge impact on their mental health. The uneven work from home cycle also contributed to being a factor in the deteriorating mental health of people. It created frustration, irritation, exhaustion, and stress in the minds of people.
The study, which was led by Professor Kavita Vedhara in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, was conducted with the objective of finding out whether people who feel stressed, isolated, and have other psychological issues are more prone to getting infected with the coronavirus. According to the results, people who felt stressed, anxious or depressed at the beginning of the pandemic contracted Covid-19. They even displayed more severe symptoms than others.
Professor Vedhara said, “The significance of the work is in that it turns the debate regarding the mental health aspects of the pandemic on its head. Our data show that increased stress, anxiety, and depression are not only consequences of living with the pandemic, but may also be factors that increase our risk of getting SARS-CoV-2 too.”
The team of experts who conducted the study with Professor Vedhara included Professor Trudie Chalder, Professor of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy from King’s College London, and a professor from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The observational research was conducted on a sample of 1,100 adults who filled a survey in April 2020 and later, reported the symptoms of Covid-19 in December 2020 during the ongoing pandemic.
Even earlier, various studies have proved that psychological factors contribute to the increasing respiratory illnesses. Supporting the claim, Professor Trudie said, “Previous work has shown a clear relationship between distress and the development of viral infections indicating a vulnerability. Our study found that distress was associated with self-reported Covid-19 infection and the next step is to investigate whether this association is found in those with confirmed infection.”