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Study Shows Long Covid Patients Have Higher Risk of Depression and Anxiety

In a study of 25,122 adults, long Covid patients are more likely to have depression and anxiety in addition to fatigue and fevers compared to others. Additionally, long Covid patients are also more likely to encounter more financial barriers while trying to access therapy.

In this blog post by Pacific Prime CXA, we will be discussing the impacts of depression and anxiety in long Covid patients as well as treatment methods so you can stay both physically and mentally healthy during this difficult time.

What is Long Covid?

Long Covid refers to the effects of COVID-19 that lasts for weeks or even months (4-12 weeks) beyond the initial illness.

Most people with long Covid experience symptoms after they find out they had COVID-19, but some who develop long Covid later do not know when they were infected. People can be reinfected with the COVID-19 virus and each infection can increase the risk of developing long Covid.


Long Covid symptoms and conditions can emerge, persist, resolve, and reemerge in a matter of weeks to months. Additionally, such symptoms and conditions can range from mild to severe, may require comprehensive care, or even cause disabilities. Below are some common symptoms.

  • Malaise and fatigue
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea

Depression and Anxiety in Long Covid

COVID-19 viruses can also directly affect the brain by damaging two cells that are vital for brain activity and repair, the neurons (brain cells) and glial cells (support cells). Aside from fatigue, damage to these brain cells can cause memory issues, along with depression and anxiety.

Symptoms commonly associated with depression such as sleep disturbances and change in appetite are also associated with long Covid.

Research suggests that up to 90% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 25% of non-hospitalized adults experience at least one mental symptom such as fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety after six months of the illness.

Symptoms of depression in long Covid can include loss of interest in activities one would enjoy usually, feeling hopeless, difficulties sleeping, low energy, and trouble concentrating. On the other hand, symptoms of anxiety in long Covid can include constant worries, nervousness, and irritability.

What to Do if You Have Long Covid

Because the impact and symptoms of long Covid can vary across patients, it’s important to tailor your own coping strategies to your symptoms. For instance, fatigue and mood changes will require different coping methods.

Below are the different ways to cope with long Covid symptoms.


Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of long Covid and people will experience it differently. For example, you may feel physically worn out from taking a shower or any other regular physical activities despite not actually exercising.

The drop in your energy levels can leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. Because of this, it’s important not to try to force your way through the exhaustion. While fatigue management will vary across long Covid patients, the general coping method involves patience and self-care.

The first method to cope with long Covid-induced fatigue is to let your body relax. You can do so by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.

Sleep Difficulties

The first method of addressing sleep difficulties is to improve the quality of sleep at night by cleaning up your bedtime habits and sleep environment. To do so, maintain a consistent sleep and wake schedule, avoid alcohol consumption in the evening, and turn off screens before bed.

In addition to changing sleep habits, remember to make your room as comfortable, dark, and quiet as you can. To effectively unwind in preparation for bedtime, you can try taking a warm bath, playing soothing music, meditating, or stretching.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression from long Covid may leave you feeling slow and sluggish while anxiety can leave you feeling worried about recovery, if you can resume your old life, or if you will suffer any long-term complications.

However, you can relieve long Covid-induced depression by attending cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions physically with a therapist or remotely through available telehealth services. You can also relax your mind and body by meditating, doing yoga, or staying in touch with friends and family.

If you are especially worried about your recovery time or the uncertainty of reinfection or long-term complications at night, try noting those worries down on paper to postpone those worries for the time being. This will help ease your mind so you can sleep peacefully at night.

By doing so, you can wake up and work your way to find a solution after you have sufficiently rested.


Long Covid can, indeed, cause depression and anxiety as seen in the statistics mentioned above. However, with simple methods such as relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing, you can effectively reduce the effects of long Covid-induced depression and anxiety.

When coping with symptoms of long Covid like depression and anxiety or fatigue, remember that everyone experiences these symptoms differently and coping methods can vary across long Covid patients.

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Whether you’re an expat living in Singapore or a local Singaporean citizen yourself, our team of specialists will be more than happy to help you out. And if you have any further questions, please get in touch with us and get a free quote here.

Content Writer at Pacific Prime CXA
Wish Sutthatothon (Nickname: Guy) is currently a content writer at Pacific Prime Thailand, an insurance broker that connects individuals and businesses with insurance providers worldwide. He creates and edits blog articles, guides, reports, webpages, and other types of digital content.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Media & Communication major (concentration: Creative Content) from Mahidol University International College (MUIC). During the compulsory major elective period in the summer of 2021 and voluntarily during the summer of 2022, he also interned as a video and photo editor at Mbrella Films.

He has experience working as an English Content Writer at a real estate buying/renting/selling platform in Thonglor. There, he crafted company blog posts on a multitude of topics. Topics include market trends, legal issues and disputes in property businesses, financial guides, expat guides, home insurance, home decoration and maintenance, and weekly real estate news quick-recaps. Occasionally, as part of the blog-writing process, he would also translate existing Thai blogs to English.

In his free time, Guy enjoys doing scriptwriting and storytelling for comic strips, watching movies, and listening to music (particularly film scores).
Wish Sutthatothon