COVID-19 and Vaccine Can Cause Psychosis, Music Therapy Might Help

COVID-19 and Vaccine Can Cause Psychosis, Music Therapy Might Help
Music therapy may help people suffering from long-COVID-induced psychosis. (Dana.S/Shutterstock)
Various studies on COVID, long COVID, and COVID vaccine-injured patients suggest that millions people contend with lasting symptoms after COVID infection or injections. Studies also show that half of the symptoms are neuropsychiatric, resulting in a spike in the number of people suffering depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory problems, and other issues. Other studies have documented a rise in psychosis, a difficulty in telling what is real and what is not. We have covered these studies in the past, and now aim to explain the mechanisms by which this disease can induce such problems—and what can be done to help resolve them.
In April 2020, a group of doctors at Strasbourg University Hospital in France published a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on a study of 58 ICU patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection during the one-month period from March 3 to April 3, 2020.
Out of the 58 ICU patients, 40 showed agitation, while 26 of the 40 agitated patients had confusion according to the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU.
Overall, the patients not only exhibited respiratory problems, but also neurologic disorders, from agitation and confusion to transient ischemic attack, partial epilepsy, and mild cognitive impairment. 
The main author of the letter, Julie Helms, M.D., Ph.D., also told the BBC that what’s more alarming is that many of these patients were young people in their 30s and 40s.
A New York Times article dated Dec. 28, 2020 talked about psychotic symptoms in people who had COVID-19. A 30-year-old construction worker in New York City recovered from COVID-19 but became delusional. He thought his relative was going to kill him, so he tried to strangle the relative in bed.
A 42-year-old mother of four experienced mild physical symptoms from COVID-19 but developed psychotic symptoms months later. She kept hearing voices telling her to kill herself and her children, and she kept seeing scenes of her children being gruesomely murdered.  
In April 2020, during the early months of the pandemic, a group of psychologists, researchers, and mental health professionals from around the world issued a call for action for mental health science in The Lancet Psychiatry. They said that there is an urgent need for research to address how mental health consequences for vulnerable groups can be mitigated under pandemic conditions. 
In June 2020, Robert Stevens, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland said that a large portion of COVID-19 patients suffered from only one symptom—confusion. Stevens warned that “we are facing a secondary pandemic of neurological disease.”
It is not only a neurological disease. What could be even worse is an increasing rate of psychiatric conditions.

The Difference Between Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Issues

The human nervous system is tangible. It can be touched and measured. But the human psyche is intangible. Neurological problems such as pain, fainting, numbness, and cognitive impairment can be both. 
The psyche is related to the nerves but more complicated than the nervous system. It can't be seen by our naked eyes however it is sensible and measurable. Neuropsychiatric issues such as hallucinations are directly related to sub-molecular levels.
In June 2020, Lancet Psychiatry published a UK-wide surveillance study on neurological and neuropsychiatric complications in patients with COVID-19. The paper defined “altered mental status as an acute alteration in personality, behavior, cognition, or consciousness.” They report that 31 percent of patients with COVID-19 experienced altered mental status. And 49 percent of the patients with altered mental status were under 60.
A more recent study published in Lancet Psychiatry in August 2022 looked at over 1 million patients in the past two years. 
It was a retrospective cohort study done by scientists from University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, led by professor Paul Harrison.
The studied data spans 62 medical establishments in eight countries on four continents, from January 2020 to April 2022. The data came mainly from the United States, but also Australia, the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
The study compared 1.28 million COVID-19 patients against other respiratory infection patients over the same period of time. Age, gender, profession, risk of contracting diseases, and vaccination status were compared.
In addition to the persistent risk of cognitive decline, including brain fog and dementia, the risk of psychosis remains even two years after the infection.

Psychosis Worsens the Disease and Increases the Risk of Long COVID by 30–50 Percent

COVID-19 can trigger psychosis. Negative psychological conditions can worsen the incidence of long COVID.
A cohort study published in JAMA Psychiatry on Sept. 7, 2022, reports that pre-infection psychological conditions may increase the risk of long COVID infection by 1.3 to 1.5 times. The study followed 3,193 persons for one year from April 2020 to April 2021. They reported no COVID-19 infection prior to April 2020 but were infected during the one year follow-up period. Their pre-infection psychological conditions included depression, anxiety, perceived stress, loneliness, and worry about COVID-19.
Such risk conditions have surpassed those commonly known risk factors which might trigger long COVID, including old age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, asthma, cancer, and obesity. 
These high-risk psychological stresses have been ignored historically. Science has now provided proof to the old saying that illnesses are caused more by psychological reasons than physical reasons.

Why COVID-19 Induces Psychological Issues

From the cellular point of view, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can cause damage to the brain cells directly. It can also destroy the structure and function of brain mitochondria. This is equivalent to destroying the brain's electrical supply system, which causes the brain itself to crash.
A meta-analysis of blood cytokine alterations in psychiatric patients, published in Molecular Psychiatry in 2016, states that the common characteristic in acute psychiatric patients is the increase of a type of cytokine called interleukin- 6 (IL-6).
According to this study, SARS-CoV-2 can trigger extreme immune responses in humans and release a large number of cytokines, including IL-6. These cytokines can cause damage to the structure and function of nerve cells and increase the risk of psychosis.
According to this study, a single spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 can induce IL6 in monocytes and macrophages. Almost all current COVID-19 vaccines have spike proteins. So, vaccination can also cause psychiatric issues. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Induced Psychosis

A paper published in Psychiatry Research in October 2021 describes a case study done by experts from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Stony Brook University in New York and the Northport Veteran Administration Medical Center in New York. 
The report describes a 31-year-old single Hispanic male who had no history of psychiatric disorders. After receiving his first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, he developed bizarre and inscrutable behavior. Specifically, he became anxious, vigilant, and pompous, and also experienced hallucinations (of people drumming outside). He even mistook a colleague for his lover and talked to himself in his hospital room, saying that an EEG machine in the hospital was communicating with him.
Three weeks later, the man received a second dose of the vaccine, and his symptoms deteriorated significantly.
The man was treated in the psychiatric ward with milieu treatment, and the hallucinations and delusions resolved after two days. Milieu treatment involves using everyday scenarios to help patients with interaction in community settings. After he was discharged, he returned to his normal work.  
A review of 11 published reports was published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry in May 2022. These reports describe 14 cases of psychiatric reactions after COVID-19 vaccines, 11 of which were diagnosed as neurological disorders. Those 11 were an average age of 40, and the patients were four females, six males, and one unspecified. Most of them were young and middle-aged.
Five cases of psychiatric disorders happened within hours to 10 days after the vaccination. Three cases reported a loss of sense of direction, hallucination, and agitation. Two cases were mania. One case was depression. Over two-thirds of the cases happened after the first dose of the vaccine. 

What Exactly Are Emotions and the Spirit? How Can They Have Such a Great Influence on the Human Body?

The human being is a mysterious and complicated entity composed of body, mind, and spirit. Modern science has more knowledge and understanding of human organs, cells, and molecules, but the understanding of the human brain is limited and many scientists are reluctant to even acknowledged the human beings exist in any form but the molecular body. 
In heart transplantation, psychiatric features including donor personality and preferences have even been shown to be transmitted to the heart recipients.
For example, the first heart transplant operation took place in 1967. In 1988, Dr. Paul Pearsall, a professor of nursing at the University of Hawaii, first reported on the personality changes in a heart recipient after transplantation. The personality changes included food, music, and art preferences, emotional and temperamental changes, and even identity changes.  

Another case study was reported in the journal EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing by Larry Dossey in 2008. Carter, a 9-month-old boy diagnosed with congenital heart disease, received the heart from a 16-month-old boy named Jerry, who died due to an accident. After the heart transplant, Carter underwent a surprising change in his language and behavior, almost acting in the same way as Jerry.

In 2019, Mitchell Liester, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry published an analysis of organ recipients’ personality changes in Medical Hypotheses. The analysis concluded that the personality and identity changes were the result of cellular memory.
We believe that the human spirit may be a microscopic material particle, which is likely preserved in the microstructure of the human heart (and perhaps all tissues). When people undergo a heart transplant, not only is the physical heart transplanted, but also the character of the person, something of their essential nature, or their spirit, if you will. Other microscopic components may be transplanted as well.
Scientists have studied the near-death experiences of Tangshan earthquake (China, 1976) survivors and found that the human body can feel the separation of mind from matter at the moment of death. A core understanding of the human spirit is that it can exist beyond the confines of the physical body and persist without the molecular physical body.  Near-death experiences, including the Tangshan earthquake survivors commonly recount an experience that seems to verify this reality. These people routinely recount experiencing themselves without their physical body. Many report a lightness.  Scientists found that 68 percent of people had a sense of unfamiliarity with the body, and 43 percent felt their consciousnesses leaving the body.
If mind and spirit are matter, and both tied to the physical body in our current existence, it seems reasonable to consider that they can be affected by the virus and even become sick. 

Music Therapy Helpful In Treating Psychosis After COVID-19 and Vaccines

Psychotic patients are characterized by disorders of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and perceptions. There are usually two main groups of symptoms, namely positive symptoms (additions) and negative symptoms (losses). Positive symptoms include hearing voices or seeing things (hallucinations), and acute onset of strange beliefs (delusions). Negative symptoms include feeling down, depression, social withdrawal, and memory problems.
Medications do not address the underlying causes. Antipsychotic drugs forcibly suppress the symptoms by drugging the receptors, forcibly blocking them. Drugs developed according to the target lead theory are prone to receptor fatigue and drug resistance, making psychosis even more difficult to treat down the road.
If the spirit is at the microscopic level, at a plane of particles smaller than we currently acknowledge a human life to persist at, we need to have an open mind about how to nurture this part of ourselves and explore methods to solve the problem of psychosis.
One method is horticultural therapy, which is useful for relieving mental stress. I have visited a mental hospital in the United States where patients do planting and there is a noticeable therapeutic effect. This is why psychiatric hospitals are usually located in places where there are many trees and are close to nature.
Another treatment for these conditions is music therapy.
Music therapy is a modern and emerging discipline. In the mid-20th century, several universities in the United States established music therapy programs.
From a modern medical point of view, human organs vibrate at a certain frequency. Music can resonate with the internal organs through sound waves and by transmitting vibrating energy substances, thus regulating the functions of the organs and improving the health of the organs. 
Many people feel their pores opening when listening to music. This is related to the functional changes of the skin nerve cells.
Scientists have found that music nourishes the brain. Music is an energetic substance, the movement of patterns through air. It has a physical resonance. Good music reduces stress, enhances immune function, balances brain wave activity, increases endorphin levels, and triggers a feeling of inner peace.
Not all music has this effect though. Only music that calms us and is good for our physical and mental health can achieve healing effects.
Good music can also help the body regulate its corticosteroid levels, control the severity of spastic muscle tremors, reduce cancer-related pain, and reduce stress in patients.

Classical Music Can Lessen Depression

In randomized controlled trial published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 56 college students, 15 males, and 41 females listened to different types of music after undergoing a stress test. Listening to classical and relaxing music of their choice significantly reduced anxiety, anger, and sympathetic nervous system arousal compared to those who sat in silence or listened to heavy metal music.
Therefore, listening to less rock music and more classical music will make us happier, more relaxed, and less anxious.

Music Therapy Can Improve Psychosis

A Cochrane Review published in Cochrane Library looked at 176 studies of people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like disorders receiving music therapy or standard care. Eighteen trials with a total of 1,215 participants were examined.
Compared to standard care, the researchers found that music therapy had a positive improvement in overall status, positive and negative symptoms, and also improved mental status, social functioning, and quality of life.

Music Therapy Can Help Reduce Medicine Doses for Psychiatric Patients

In 2016, 27 patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, bipolar affective disorder, depressive episode, and specific personality disorders were randomized to receive group music therapy plus standard care (48 weekly sessions of 2 hours) or standard care only.
The study measured doses of neuroleptics, benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants.
The group without music therapy had increased doses of antidepressants and sedatives. The group that received music therapy and medication showed significant improvements in antipsychotic sedative doses and modest increases in antidepressant doses.
The pandemic has brought people physical and mental illnesses. Spirituality is often considered immaterial, but it seems more than reasonable to acknowledge that there is likely an element of existence we are unable to directly measure at this time. People around the world and throughout time have reported sensing, experiencing, or believing in a spiritual plane beyond our material dimension. Nearly all people around the world have believed that something of the human body persists after death. If we do carry something with us that persists in the body while we are alive, and without the body when we die, that it is reasonable to expect it is also affected by our mental, physical, and emotional ailments. With the continuous exploration of spiritual phenomena, I believe that the understanding of the nature of human life will rise to a new level in the future.