Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health
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Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej
Janusz Heitzman   

Polskie Towarzystwo Psychiatryczne
Submission date: 2020-04-06
Final revision date: 2020-04-08
Acceptance date: 2020-04-10
Online publication date: 2020-04-30
Publication date: 2020-04-30
Psychiatr Pol 2020;54(2):187–198
Human confrontation with such a stressor as the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, manifested in severe acute respiratory distress, results also in the decrease of fitness and mental resistance on an unprecedented scale and with difficult to estimate consequences [1]. More important than the intensity of the disorder is its prevalence. When we compare our current knowledge of the impact of the pandemic on the development of mental disorders with the findings of research on acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the last 40 years, it may turn out that they are different from each other, the symptomatic spectrum of mental disorders varies and the possibilities of an effective treatment are very limited. We cannot rule out that a new diagnostic category for specific mental disorders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may emerge in the near future. This paper presents the extent of the impact of the pandemic on the development of mental instability and current diagnostic possibilities. Subpopulations necessary for planning short-term intervention in the organisational, informative and medical areas were identified. A psychiatric guide for immediate support and assistance was proposed.