Medically unexplained symptoms in the times of Covid-19 pandemic: a case-report.
Brain Behav Immun Health. 2020 Apr 19;:100073
Authors: Colizzi M, Bortoletto R, Silvestri M, Mondini F, Puttini E, Cainelli C, Gaudino R, Ruggeri M, Zoccante L
In early 2020, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) leading to a potentially fatal condition was discovered. Since then, the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread worldwide becoming a pandemic. Beyond the risks strictly related to the infection, concerns have been expressed for the psychological impact that COVID-19 may have, especially on vulnerable individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions. Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is characterized by a dysfunctional preoccupation with physical symptoms leading to excessive and unnecessary healthcare utilization. Despite being quite common, such condition remains underrecognized. We report a detailed clinical case of a 16 years old adolescent, who presented with a history suggestive of COVID-19 infection and associated psychological distress. Despite testing negative for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, his extreme and persisting health preoccupations required an inpatient admission to the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatric Unit. He responded rapidly to a low dose of antipsychotic and an antidepressant. Based on his medical history and current presentation, he received a diagnosis of SSD. When COVID-19-like symptoms occur, we highlight the importance of differentially diagnosing a possible exacerbation of a pre-existing SSD, triggered by fear of being infected. This may help preventing further burden to the healthcare system.
PMID: 32313886 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]