Some COVID-19 survivors may experience PTSD, which can last for years without treatment.
- Most people feel anxiety with the uncertainty of COVID-19, but some experience PTSD due to trauma and a "threat to life or threat to physical integrity," says Anthony King, professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Michigan.
- "Clearly, the coronavirus disease is a threat to life," and the chance someone may experience PTSD may be exacerbated by patient isolation while fighting the disease, King says while cautioning further research is needed into anecdotal evidence.
- Long-term studies of past serious outbreaks found PTSD is much higher in patients than in the general population.
- In one study, one-fourth of 90 SARS patients had PTSD 30 months after the outbreak and 15.6% had a depressive disorder.