In a few cases, people without a history of mental health have developed severe psychotic symptoms after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Jennifer Price from the suburbs of Morris believes that her husband Ben became infected with what is called “psychosis after COVID” before his death.
Ben Price, a beloved father of two and a farmer, died of suicide just days after being treated and released from COVID Hospital.
“It was another level of something that took over his brain,” Jennifer Price explained.
Jennifer Price said her husband had no mental health problems in the past, and over time she noticed a drastic change in his behavior.
“He was just really at the level of panic and paranoia and he was scared,”
Jennifer Price thought her husband was suffering from a brain fog. Doctors prescribed medication for Ben Price’s anxiety, but his condition only worsened.
“There was nothing we could do to make him relax and calm down,” said Jennifer Price. “It was heartbreaking.”
Dr. Danesh Alam, a psychiatrist in Northwestern medicine, says “post-COVID psychosis” is rare, and as a result of the reported cases, researchers are looking at how COVID affects the human brain.
“Laboratories suggest that the virus actually crosses the blood-brain barrier and some of the changes we see in [the] brain associated with major psychotic disorders, “explained the doctor.
With more research completed, Jennifer Price hopes that by sharing her husband’s story, the lives of others can be saved.
“We would have done something different if we had known about it,” she told NBC 5.
Doctors say that if you notice a change in your loved one’s behavior, even if they are hospitalized for COVID-19, see a doctor immediately so that the symptoms can be caught and treated earlier.