Psychopathological residual damage of COVID-19 in survivors

Rūta Marija Rainytė1, Justina Tamošaitytė1, Agnė Šaltkauskaitė2                                               

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of medicine 2Department of Family medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania


Background: COVID – 19 is an acute respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The most common symptoms of this infection are fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat and headache. COVID – 19 infection causes the most damage to the respiratory system, however a significant number of survivors complain about psychopathological symptoms such as sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Although there are still limited information and studies on the effect of COVID – 19 infection on mental health in survivors, a serious problem of psychopathological residual damage can already be seen and prevention measures on survivors should be taken as soon as possible.

Aim: to analyze the connection between COVID – 19 survivors and psychopathological residual damage.

Methods: scientific literature was selected from PubMed and UpToDate database. Literature analysis search was performed using keywords: Covid – 19, survivors, insomnia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, residual damage. More than 40 publications have been analyzed about COVID – 19 infection.

Results. After conducting the literature review, we determined that COVID – 19 infection not only causes respiratory system’s damage bur also contributes to the occurrence of CNS pathologies and is associated with acute and long-term psychopathological residual damage in survivors.

Conclusions: 1. The connection between COVID – 19 disease and psychopathological residual damage in survivors could be created through direct CNS infection or indirectly through social factors and mental health. 2. More and more studies describe the connection between the development of symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders and COVID – 19 survivors. 3. Prevention measures and early diagnostics of psychopathological damage in COVID – 19 survivors would help to prevent the development of severe psychiatric symptoms and conditions.

Keywords: Covid – 19, survivors, insomnia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, residual damage.