Vaccine Efficacy for those with Chronic Anxiety and Mental Illness

Posted by tykehome @tykehome, Feb 19 12:06pm

I was blessed to have received my second dose of the Covid Vaccine 2 days ago. I was ready, excited and had no anxiety prior or at the appointment. About 2-3 hours after, I had an unforeseen event that caused me severe anxiety, anger, fear and panic that lasted at least 12 hours. I read some information on the vaccine not being as effective for those who suffer from mental illness and chronic anxiety. My question is about the efficacy and if the vaccine will still be as effective if I sent my body into the flight or flight response soon after the vaccine and lasting for many hours. Did my body still respond the way it should and start building immunity? I do suffer from anxiety and depression on occasion but this was severe. I was SO upset because I had done everything "right" to prepare my body and mind for this vaccine and now feel like I may not get the full benefit.

We know that depression, anxiety and underlying conditions can effect immune response, but I would not be overly concerned about one episode.
Are you experiencing any after-effects from the vaccine such as headache, fever, aches, fatigue, etc? These reactions would be evidence that your immune system is stepping up to do its job.
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

We know that depression, anxiety and underlying conditions can effect immune response, but I would not be overly concerned about one episode.
Are you experiencing any after-effects from the vaccine such as headache, fever, aches, fatigue, etc? These reactions would be evidence that your immune system is stepping up to do its job.
Sue

Jump to this post

Thank you for replying Sue! I have read that as well about depression and anxiety weakening the immune system. I guess I'm concerned and a bit angry because I had been so careful this entire pandemic and the first shot went great. I was fully ready for the second and came home feeling amazing. It was that 2-3 hours later when an unforeseen event sent me into first anger and fear and then major panic and anxiety. It was mostly continuous for about 12 hours till I went to bed. The anxiety persisted all through today, so about 4 days thus far. The kind of anxiety where you can't breathe, shaking inside, nausea, etc… I got very worried immediately after the initial anxiety started because I know it could affect the vaccine and immunity. That led to more anger, anxiety and feeling like I am no longer protected from Covid like I should have been. Anyone with anxiety knows how this never ending loop goes! I did start medication today which has helped a bit. I am hoping that since it takes a couple weeks to even create the immunity (from what I read) that my immune system can calm down and still create ample antibodies to that 95% efficacy.

As for the side effects. The first shot was just a very sore arm. The second dose I developed a sore arm within a couple hours and then the next day had muscle pain and headache which lasted only a couple hours and a REALLY sore arm. I'm much better today. I apologize for the long reply. I was going to message you but thought this could help others if they had questions as well. Thank you!

REPLY
@tykehome

Thank you for replying Sue! I have read that as well about depression and anxiety weakening the immune system. I guess I'm concerned and a bit angry because I had been so careful this entire pandemic and the first shot went great. I was fully ready for the second and came home feeling amazing. It was that 2-3 hours later when an unforeseen event sent me into first anger and fear and then major panic and anxiety. It was mostly continuous for about 12 hours till I went to bed. The anxiety persisted all through today, so about 4 days thus far. The kind of anxiety where you can't breathe, shaking inside, nausea, etc… I got very worried immediately after the initial anxiety started because I know it could affect the vaccine and immunity. That led to more anger, anxiety and feeling like I am no longer protected from Covid like I should have been. Anyone with anxiety knows how this never ending loop goes! I did start medication today which has helped a bit. I am hoping that since it takes a couple weeks to even create the immunity (from what I read) that my immune system can calm down and still create ample antibodies to that 95% efficacy.

As for the side effects. The first shot was just a very sore arm. The second dose I developed a sore arm within a couple hours and then the next day had muscle pain and headache which lasted only a couple hours and a REALLY sore arm. I'm much better today. I apologize for the long reply. I was going to message you but thought this could help others if they had questions as well. Thank you!

Jump to this post

I know many don’t want to hear this or agree but this just reenforces my resolve not to submit or take any covid vaccines.

REPLY
@tykehome

Thank you for replying Sue! I have read that as well about depression and anxiety weakening the immune system. I guess I'm concerned and a bit angry because I had been so careful this entire pandemic and the first shot went great. I was fully ready for the second and came home feeling amazing. It was that 2-3 hours later when an unforeseen event sent me into first anger and fear and then major panic and anxiety. It was mostly continuous for about 12 hours till I went to bed. The anxiety persisted all through today, so about 4 days thus far. The kind of anxiety where you can't breathe, shaking inside, nausea, etc… I got very worried immediately after the initial anxiety started because I know it could affect the vaccine and immunity. That led to more anger, anxiety and feeling like I am no longer protected from Covid like I should have been. Anyone with anxiety knows how this never ending loop goes! I did start medication today which has helped a bit. I am hoping that since it takes a couple weeks to even create the immunity (from what I read) that my immune system can calm down and still create ample antibodies to that 95% efficacy.

As for the side effects. The first shot was just a very sore arm. The second dose I developed a sore arm within a couple hours and then the next day had muscle pain and headache which lasted only a couple hours and a REALLY sore arm. I'm much better today. I apologize for the long reply. I was going to message you but thought this could help others if they had questions as well. Thank you!

Jump to this post

So your reaction tells me your body is responding to the vaccine and making antibodies for you – that's good
.
Sue

REPLY
@tykehome

Thank you for replying Sue! I have read that as well about depression and anxiety weakening the immune system. I guess I'm concerned and a bit angry because I had been so careful this entire pandemic and the first shot went great. I was fully ready for the second and came home feeling amazing. It was that 2-3 hours later when an unforeseen event sent me into first anger and fear and then major panic and anxiety. It was mostly continuous for about 12 hours till I went to bed. The anxiety persisted all through today, so about 4 days thus far. The kind of anxiety where you can't breathe, shaking inside, nausea, etc… I got very worried immediately after the initial anxiety started because I know it could affect the vaccine and immunity. That led to more anger, anxiety and feeling like I am no longer protected from Covid like I should have been. Anyone with anxiety knows how this never ending loop goes! I did start medication today which has helped a bit. I am hoping that since it takes a couple weeks to even create the immunity (from what I read) that my immune system can calm down and still create ample antibodies to that 95% efficacy.

As for the side effects. The first shot was just a very sore arm. The second dose I developed a sore arm within a couple hours and then the next day had muscle pain and headache which lasted only a couple hours and a REALLY sore arm. I'm much better today. I apologize for the long reply. I was going to message you but thought this could help others if they had questions as well. Thank you!

Jump to this post

@tykehome I have similar reactions as you. The 1st shot was just a very sore arm. The 2nd shot was a little harder. I have a very sore arm again. Took a few days for it to go away. I have body ache, could be my normal pain that I have even before the vaccine . Low grade temperature for one day. On the third say my heart was racing, long story short, I was ok, my doctors thought it's just the vaccine and my immune system is responding. I think what you feel, the anxiety etc was like an anti climax… We have been isolated for almost a year, then waiting for a vaccine, when it's finally here, we have to wait for our turn. Now what? What's next? I talked my friends about this, we're so glad we finally made it. A couple of days of discomfort is worth it. I hope your anxiety and anger had subsided, don't let them take over you. Take care, we at connect are here for you.

REPLY
@dutchw

I know many don’t want to hear this or agree but this just reenforces my resolve not to submit or take any covid vaccines.

Jump to this post

I wanted to let you know that it was a separate event that triggered my anxiety and panic. I think I would have been just fine besides the usual side effects of the vaccine had there not been a situation that had to be handled the same day. It's a personal choice to get the vaccine or not and I respect whatever people decide to do. 🙂

REPLY
@dutchw

I know many don’t want to hear this or agree but this just reenforces my resolve not to submit or take any covid vaccines.

Jump to this post

I agree with you. Each of us has to do as we believe.

REPLY
@mayofeb2020

@tykehome I have similar reactions as you. The 1st shot was just a very sore arm. The 2nd shot was a little harder. I have a very sore arm again. Took a few days for it to go away. I have body ache, could be my normal pain that I have even before the vaccine . Low grade temperature for one day. On the third say my heart was racing, long story short, I was ok, my doctors thought it's just the vaccine and my immune system is responding. I think what you feel, the anxiety etc was like an anti climax… We have been isolated for almost a year, then waiting for a vaccine, when it's finally here, we have to wait for our turn. Now what? What's next? I talked my friends about this, we're so glad we finally made it. A couple of days of discomfort is worth it. I hope your anxiety and anger had subsided, don't let them take over you. Take care, we at connect are here for you.

Jump to this post

I don't believe my anxiety and panic that occurred that day and the following 4 days was related to the vaccine. I'm sure that it was from a separate event that had to be dealt with right after the shot. My thoughts kept dwelling on the event which escalated the anxiety to last so long. Then I started to think the worst and how my immunity might be affected by this. Vicious cycle of anxiety! I'm not positive but I think those with anxiety disorders and depression might take longer to develop the antibodies but still will. Just have to wait a little longer. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know that many people are facing mental health issues this past year for the first time and it's going to be hard to say until longer term studies are done how those with serious anxiety/depression reacted to the vaccine in regards to building immunity. Hope you're feeling better!

REPLY
@sueinmn

So your reaction tells me your body is responding to the vaccine and making antibodies for you – that's good
.
Sue

Jump to this post

Thank you for your thoughts and I really do pray that even though my side effects to the vaccine lasted only a couple hours, that it means my body is still going to build up immunity. I really hope the past 4 days didn't mess up how the vaccine and immunity are supposed to work had this not happened. Anxiety is a vicious cycle…. Thank you again!

REPLY
@mayofeb2020

@tykehome I have similar reactions as you. The 1st shot was just a very sore arm. The 2nd shot was a little harder. I have a very sore arm again. Took a few days for it to go away. I have body ache, could be my normal pain that I have even before the vaccine . Low grade temperature for one day. On the third say my heart was racing, long story short, I was ok, my doctors thought it's just the vaccine and my immune system is responding. I think what you feel, the anxiety etc was like an anti climax… We have been isolated for almost a year, then waiting for a vaccine, when it's finally here, we have to wait for our turn. Now what? What's next? I talked my friends about this, we're so glad we finally made it. A couple of days of discomfort is worth it. I hope your anxiety and anger had subsided, don't let them take over you. Take care, we at connect are here for you.

Jump to this post

I just read your reply again and I do think your doctors also make a good point. The vaccine is a foreign substance and I think everyone will react differently to and to varying degrees if they react at all. I'm glad that your heart racing and other symptoms checked out to be ok. You're right, there are a lot of feelings surrounding the vaccine and what's next? Wish we had answers as the unknown never helps anxiety! I'm happy to hear that you're doing better and so are your friends! 🙂

REPLY

I had my second shot 3 days ago. First day- tired, low energy. Second day- very off, more brain fog than usual( I do have a lot), pain all over my body, in a bad mood, no appetite. My husband has mentioned anxiety since his second shot.
These are symptoms I expected could happen. It would not stop me from having the vaccine.
@dutchw – I understand why many are reluctant to get the vaccine. I don’t know how old you are but at 70+ I don’t want to take chances. I don’t think my chances with the illness are very good.

REPLY
@astaingegerdm

I had my second shot 3 days ago. First day- tired, low energy. Second day- very off, more brain fog than usual( I do have a lot), pain all over my body, in a bad mood, no appetite. My husband has mentioned anxiety since his second shot.
These are symptoms I expected could happen. It would not stop me from having the vaccine.
@dutchw – I understand why many are reluctant to get the vaccine. I don’t know how old you are but at 70+ I don’t want to take chances. I don’t think my chances with the illness are very good.

Jump to this post

I understand fully Ingergerd and you should do what you feel is best for you. I’m 80+ and don’t want to take a chance with side effects of a vaccine that hasn’t proven to prevent anything. Thank you for your input, best of luck and stay safe.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.