ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Scientific board Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors Ethical standards and procedures
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2021
vol. 30
 
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abstract:
Review paper

Psychiatry in the time of the pandemic. Is COVID-19 changing the discipline?

Patrycja Pajor
1

1.
Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland
Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2021; 30 (2): 113-121
Online publish date: 2021/08/15
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Purpose
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the newly discovered coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The research conducted to date has focused mainly on the somatic complications of the disease, while only a few studies look at the potential direct mental health effects of the virus and its neurotropic potential.

Views
The COVID-19 pandemic is also a psychologically significant stressor, affecting not only every aspect of an individual’s life, but also economic and social sectors around the world. The deterioration of mental health can be caused not only by the fear of illness, death, or job loss, and uncertainty about the future, but also social isolation resulting from the loss of structured educational activities, professional activities and sanitary regime. We are slowly beginning to see the progressing effect of the current pandemic – not only the increasing symptoms of panic, anxiety and depression, but also somatization disorders, disadaptive syndromes, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychoactive substance abuse, and possibly also fixed post-pandemic personality disorders. Nosophobia, when it comes to the pandemic, takes the form of „coronaphobia”.

Conclusions
The protracted duration of the pandemic poses a threat to mental health. It causes a growing failure of psychological mechanisms for coping with the current situation. The study attempts to identify especially mentally vulnerable social groups, including the impact on health protection professionals from the perspective of a physician specializing in psychiatry. Disturbing social phenomena, highlighted by the pandemic, were identified, and practical aspects of the pandemic discussed – the new tasks that psychiatrists and psychologists face.

keywords:

psychiatry, mental health, COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic

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