Understanding the relationship between long COVID and anxiety remains a work in progress. However, various support systems are available to assist you in managing anxious feelings.

For individuals experiencing long COVID, symptoms can persist for an extended period, with anxiety being a prevalent issue. Learn more about the connection between long COVID and anxiety, its impact, and available treatment options in this comprehensive guide.

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Can COVID-19 trigger anxiety? | Impact on brain and mental health | Treating COVID-induced anxiety | Lifestyle adjustments | Conclusion

Can long-term COVID-19 cause anxiety?

Research indicates a strong association between long COVID and heightened mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression. One review suggests that about 19% of long COVID patients experience anxiety, though some studies report rates as high as 40–50%. A recent meta-analysis involving over 10,000 participants found that approximately 23% reported anxiety symptoms persisting 3 months or more after COVID-19 infection. Moreover, studies with a higher ICU admission rate showed increased prevalence of anxiety, along with depression and sleep problems.

Can long-term COVID-19 cause panic attacks?

A panic attack is a sudden, intense episode of anxiety and fear, often without warning. While common in anxiety disorders, its connection to COVID-19 is less studied. However, those with long COVID-related anxiety may be at higher risk for panic attacks.

How does COVID-19 affect the brain and mental health?

Experts suggest that anxiety in long COVID patients may stem from COVID-19’s impact on the brain, leading to heightened anxiety and depression symptoms. Recent studies highlight higher anxiety levels in long COVID sufferers due to central nervous system damage and ongoing inflammation. However, further research is needed to fully understand this connection.

Treatment options for anxiety caused by COVID-19

The duration of post-COVID-19 anxiety remains uncertain as long COVID symptoms vary. While some recover within 6 months, others face chronic symptoms. However, evidence-based treatments for anxiety are available, despite ongoing research on long COVID management.


Therapy stands out as a highly effective method for anxiety management, offering coping mechanisms to handle anxious thoughts and emotions. Approaches like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and exposure-based therapies are all proven to be effective. Each therapy utilizes unique strategies, highlighting the importance of personalized treatment for anxiety.


Medications serve as a reliable treatment for anxiety, particularly in alleviating its physical manifestations. Common medications include antidepressants, which regulate neurotransmitter levels in the brain, beta-blockers, known for managing heart conditions and anxiety symptoms, and benzodiazepines, offering immediate relief for acute anxiety symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

In addition to therapy and medication, adopting lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and prioritizing self-care can contribute to long-term anxiety management.


Anxiety is among the psychological symptoms associated with long COVID. Experts speculate that it’s linked to central nervous system damage and inflammation triggered by COVID-19. If you’re experiencing heightened anxiety post-COVID, consult your doctor for support and guidance. Effective treatment can aid in managing these symptoms and improving overall well-being.

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Can COVID-19 trigger anxiety? | Impact on brain and mental health | Treating COVID-induced anxiety | Lifestyle adjustments | Conclusion