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Severe psychiatric disturbance and attempted suicide in a patient with COVID-19 and no psychiatric history


A previously fit and well 37-year-old male healthcare worker presented with confusion, psychotic symptoms and a suicide attempt in the context of a new COVID-19 diagnosis. Following surgical interventions and an extended admission to the intensive care unit, he made a good recovery in terms of both his physical and mental health. A number of factors likely contributed to his presentation, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe insomnia, worry, healthcare worker-related stress, and the unique social and psychological stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This case highlights the need to further characterise the specific psychiatric sequelae of COVID-19 in community settings, and should remind general medical clinicians to be mindful of comorbid psychiatric symptoms when assessing patients with newly diagnosed COVID-19.

  • delirium
  • psychotic disorders (incl schizophrenia)
  • public health
  • infectious diseases
  • suicide (psychiatry)

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