Earlier this month, we published a blog detailing the current mental health impacts of coronavirus. Most strikingly, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported that 45% of respondents experienced adverse mental health due to the virus. And new research doesn’t improve on that data.
In fact, more research now indicates that the mental health crisis may extend far beyond the end of the pandemic. In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, May 19, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz warned that a second COVID-19 lockdown in the US could cause an increase in suicides, fatal drug overdoses, domestic abuse, and other mental health stressors.
Fear, Pandemic Response, Job Loss
It’s certainly not surprising that many people are feeling the effects of poor mental health since depression is a known result of chronic stress. Many people face fears about the well-being of their family and friends, their jobs, the economy, and more. Others have already lost their jobs and are dealing with the resulting depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.
All of that compounded with stay at home orders, social distancing, and the constant reminder of the pandemic on various media outlets (whether news or social), creates a ripe environment for rising mental health disorders.
And now other experts fear the mental health crisis could extend beyond this coronavirus outbreak.
Hospitalization and ICU Care
A new study published by The Lancet Psychiatry evaluated the mental health effects of SARS and MERS – two virus outbreaks very similar to COVID-19. The study found that 15% of patients hospitalized with either of those two viruses experienced depression and anxiety up to three years after hospitalization. Psychiatrist and study co-author Jonathan Rogers told Voice of America that the majority of people didn’t suffer mental illness even after intensive care AND returned to work.
However, a London study published in 2018 evaluated the mental health effects of ICU care and found that more than half of patients suffered from anxiety, depression, and/or PTSD for a year after their hospitalization.
Rogers also recognized the emotional trauma of ICU care during COVID-19. Family can’t visit COVID-19 ICU patients. And patients have a hard time bonding with healthcare workers wearing large amounts of protective gear. And the stress continues even after a hospital release due to the ongoing pandemic response.
Mental Health Help from Ketamine
Some experts predict a mental health crisis resulting from rising mental health issues from COVID-19. For some people facing mental health issues, traditional treatment options may simply not work.
Ketamine infusions are a proven means for treating depression, suicidality, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health disorders when other treatments don’t work and when combined with talk therapy. Ketamine is more widely known as an anesthetic and was recently linked to treating mental health issues.
This “wonder drug” essentially rewires the brain – helping the brain generate new, healthy mental circuits. It’s been demonstrated to not only be effective, but also long lasting. And in most cases, it only requires a few treatments. In fact, 70% of people who’ve tried ketamine infusions for their depression have found relief from their symptoms.
If you are someone you love is struggling mentally due to the stressful, abnormal world we currently experience, ketamine just may provide the needed treatment. We recommend scheduling a free consultation with one the doctors at Virginia Infusion Therapies in Leesburg, Virginia.