Man Experiences Manic Episode of Bipolar Disorder After Contracting Coronavirus

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Image: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

During the past six months, doctors around the world have reported several new symptoms and associated effects of the coronavirus infection in different cases they have encountered. One of the most recent cases if that of a man who experienced a manic episode of bipolar disorder after having visible coronavirus symptoms.

According to reports, the forty-one years old man did not have any underlying medical condition when he was diagnosed with the infection. Nine days after showing signs such as fever and dry cough, the man developed a chronic headache.

Read the case here. 

The headache was worse enough to make the man wake up from his sleep. The wife of the man says that his behavior was unusual and shocking that night.

After waking up, the man not only informed his wife that he is going to die but also told her about his sexual experiences prior to their marriage with men.

“As the ambulance came, I confessed to my wife that I had sex with men although I am heterosexual,” the man explained.  “I felt that I was incapable of lying or hiding the truth and thought I was dying.”

Soon after the ambulance picked the patient, he was transferred to the emergency room at the St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he had to be later transferred to a separate space due to his uncontrollable behavior.

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The workers noted that not only did the man display pressurized speech and association with religious symbols but attempted to anoint the space as well as other patients.

Soon, he was shifted to another room in order to prevent any kind of damage and for mechanical assistance for breathing as the man displayed breathing difficulties.

After performing a nasal swab test, the doctors found he had coronavirus infection. Further testing along with an X-ray of the chest showed that the lung also had high levels of inflammation and swelling due to the virus.

The man was then treated for coronavirus and sent for a psychiatric exam as soon as he was well enough for getting off a ventilator and recovering from the infection, which explained the behavior he had displayed earlier with his wife and in the emergency room.

According to the results from the psychiatric assessment, the man had a manic episode of bipolar disorder, which usually requires hospitalization. Therefore, the patient was then put in a psychiatric ward under the Mental Health Act and released within two weeks.

At the moment, the doctors have found that the man has been doing fairly well and has had improvements in both physical and mental health.

Since he was not aware of what was happening to him, doctors have said that it may have been his first episode of mania, which they noted was also diagnosed in the man’s sister after she had “postpartum psychosis”.

The interesting question here is, what exactly triggered the episode in the man? Some experts have suggested an association with neurological issues with the coronavirus infection.

In this case, doctors have also deemed the infection as the primary cause for the episode though further investigation is still needed.

 

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