Even after a successful recovery from the coronavirus, various physical and mental symptoms tend to linger on over time. Such issues are grouped under the umbrella term “post-Covid syndrome”. The Nyírő Gyula National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions is the first to open a department specifically for outpatients suffering from mental health problems.
Rehabilitation from the coronavirus does not end with the successful defeat of the virus by the immune system. Many are unable to fully regain their health and have complaints that are of both physical and mental nature. Concerning physical symptoms, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste, and palpitations were the most commonly diagnosed, while mental symptoms may include depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Hungarians are found to be particularly prone to mental illness and the critical situation takes its toll on everyone, regardless of the level of emotional stability.
Needless to say, it is essential to take mental issues just as seriously as somatic ones. The Nyírő Gyula Institute established a department to offer medical assistance for post-Covid patients who experience long-term psychiatric disorders subsequent to the infection. Appointments can be made from the 2 April by contacting Szabolcs Kéri, the general-director, whom Index interviewed about further details. Kéri said that nearly 30% of those who had contracted the coronavirus developed some sort of mental condition.
Depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia are among the most frequent manifestations of post-Covid.
Coping with the loss of a close relative or a job because of the pandemic can also cause acute emotional stress. Although the clinic of the Nyírő Gyula Institute is the first of its kind in the country, Kéri believes that similar centres will be opened with time by Semmelweis University and other universities in the countryside. The clinic is quite busy, and more professionals may be needed to take care of all the registered patients. The method of treatment is traditional psychotherapy, with 1-2-hour-long sessions face-to-face or online. Since no secondary literature is available on the treatment of post-Covid, therapists are required to formulate their own frameworks based on the results they achieve and by consulting the most recent psychological and psychotherapeutic research publications. The treatment usually involves cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and relaxation techniques. There are currently 103 Covid patients in the hospital, and this number decreases day by day; it is safe to say that the hospital is through the worst.