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Study: Worrying about COVID leads to mental and psychological decline

We finally made it through 2021, but did we make it unscathed? We may not have caught COVID, but if we are worrying about the virus, it may still be impacting us both psychologically and mentally, according to a study conducted by researchers from Canada’s McGill University.

Study Finds reports that the researchers came to this conclusion after studying 1,500 Americans between April and June 2020, who had gone through similar testing in 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic.

When comparing the results of the two testing periods, the researchers discovered that those with higher levels of worry about COVID had:

  • Poorer memories;
  • Poorer decision-making abilities; and
  • Believed the worst case scenario about decisions they made.

How they were tested

First, they were asked to rate their levels of worry and then went through a series of tests to evaluate their psychological and cognitive state.

This included performing certain tests that required remembering important details, and as well tests involving decision-making, where they had to evaluate which choices were the best.

Even though the odds in some instances were significantly high of a good result, people who worried about COVID believed the worst-case scenario would happen and made their choices accordingly.

In the group’s new release on the study, Kevin da Silva Castanheira wrote:

The impairments associated with worry observed here suggest that under periods of high stress, like a global pandemic, our ability to think, plan, an evaluate risks is altered. Understanding these changes are critical as managing stressful situations often relies on these abilities.”

READ: Worrying about COVID-19 leads to poorer choices, mental decline AND University News Release: Pandemic worriers shown to have impaired general cognitive abilities

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NASV)

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