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AdventHealth Doctors Encourage Central Floridians to Seek Help for New or Worsening Mental Health Conditions

Photo: Emma Simpson
Photo: Emma Simpson

One in five COVID-19 survivors will develop a mental illness within 90 days of their diagnosis.

AdventHealth Psychiatrist Dr. Luis Allen says the number of patients seeking mental health care at his office during the pandemic has been unprecedented. 

Allen says he’s seen an increase in anxiety disorders, mood disorders like depression, and substance abuse disorders especially alcohol dependence.

“What I always recommend, the earlier the intervention, the shorter it will be. The further we look to seek that intervention, the longer that treatment will be later on."

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Allen says it’s important to monitor permanent changes to normal patterns of behavior to know when to talk to a doctor.

“If you’re noticing that there are changes with sleeping, eating habits and you're just not functioning well despite the changes that you're trying to make, then probably you should get an opinion."

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Allen says he expects this mental health crisis to continue even after the pandemic, as certain stressors are here to stay. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.