After identifying with a Reddit thread for millennials, many are realizing that they might have long COVID.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic at the outset of 2020, many people who were infected with the virus have experienced long-term effects from the infection, which can range from lasting weeks to lasting months or years after contracting COVID.
Thanks to a Reddit discussion in r/Millennials, many users of the forum seem to be realizing that they could have long COVID.
It started with a post from a user that goes by u/ResidentNecessary. Over the weekend, the user shared in the subreddit that before they contracted COVID, they were much happier and experienced fewer intense bouts of depression and anxiety.
“Would that have happened without Covid or was it just a unique trauma that’s got me messed up?” they wrote. “I feel so dull.”
With almost 2,000 upvotes and over 750 comments, the post made a splash on the forum—and many identified with the uncertainty u/ResidentNecessary said they were feeling concerning their mental health.
“I’ve had it twice,” a Redditor wrote. “After this most recent second time, I’m definitely not my normal self.”
“I definitely haven’t been the same since having COVID,” another said. “It had me messed up for like eight months, and three years later I’m still depressed and tired all the time.”
There are direct ties between the physical symptoms of long COVID and mental health aftereffects, according to Dr. Anna Dickerman, a psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine.
“Inflammation and immune activation caused by the virus can drive depression, and that includes suicidal thoughts and attempts,” Dickerman said in a blog post for Weill Cornell.
In addition to mental health issues, redditors talked about brain fog, memory issues, and disruptions in their cognitive function since getting COVID.
“I got Covid in November of ’21. It was so bad I couldn’t get out of bed for a week and my husband didn’t survive it,” one user shared. “So I don’t know if the brain fog is from Covid, or the trauma I went through of losing my husband, but my memory has been deeply affected.”
“The first time I got it….my doctor thought I was nuts but my balance was just slightly off,” another redditor wrote. “I noticed because for the life of me I could no longer step over the baby gates in my house.”
They also said that they developed eczema after getting COVID.
“Brain fog” isn’t a medical term, though it is a term that many use as a catch-all for symptoms like decreased ability to concentrate, frequent confusion, forgetfulness, and mental fatigue. It is also widely recognized as a common symptom of long COVID, which affects nearly a fifth of the U.S. population.
Some doctors recommend cognitive testing for brain fog and that those suffering try to identify in which areas of cognitive functioning they’re struggling—and take efforts to preserve what cognitive functioning they have left.
Other commenters on u/ResidentNecessary’s thread talked about the respiratory issues or neurological trauma they’ve experienced as a result of long COVID.
“Still can’t smell or taste since Covid 3 years ago. Makes life less enjoyable,” one Redditor wrote. “Can be scary at times.” They also shared that they struggle to breathe and sleep.
“Covid apparently gave me brain damage resulting in physical disability and neuropathy,” said a redditor who is 34 and uses mobility aids to walk. “I have lesions of unknown origin in my brain as well as abnormal nerve response tests.”