Unfortunately for COVID-19 survivors, enduring the virus is only half the struggle. As new data comes forward, people from all over the world report some lingering long term symptoms such as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), insomnia, depression, anxiety, and delirium.
Some patients who recovered from severe cases demonstrated neuropsychiatric syndromes that included obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly hand-washing and sanitizing.
As a COVID-19 survivor, you might be struggling with some cognitive issues as well; it’s essential to anticipate the challenges that come with your recovery in order to overcome them.
COVID-19 PTSD and acute stress response
Surviving a severe COVID-19 case may cause nightmares, startle response, emotional instability, PTSD, changes in appetite, and loss of interest, among other things.
These include symptoms such as:
- Distressing memories or nightmares regarding the time you were sick
- Flashbacks of the time you or a loved one where sick
- Strong physiological responses to reminders of the illness time
- General avoidance
- Distrust in self and others
- Persistent negative emotions
- Emotional numbness
- Inability to concentrate
- Suicide ideation
- Disinterest in previously enjoyable activities
How to Cope with Post-COVID-19 Trauma
The best way to improve one’s mental health post-COVID-19, whether you are still symptomatic or not, is to:
- Be vigilant if you develop any of the above-mention
Surround yourself with a support network in person if possible and if not digitally.
- Try to get back into a routine: eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and sleep a healthy number of hours.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and alcohol entirely.
- Avoid blue light exposure from gadgets at least an hour before bedtime.
- Take up meditation or yoga.
- Indulge in enjoyable activities and ones that stimulate thinking.
If all the above is not enough, don’t linger and reach out for help.
Studies have shown that the faster one reaches for help after a trauma, the higher the chances of healing are.
Never delay treatment—the sooner, the better.
As the pandemic continues to claim lives, survivors need to consider all avenues of recovery. Never leave words unspoken—consult with a mental health professional, not a biased party such as a friend or family member.
Seek affordable therapy in Brooklyn with Therapy 24×7, where our experts are qualified to mitigate the troubling symptoms of stress and anxiety. Whether grieving or experiencing panic attacks, our licensed professionals are well-equipped to help craft new coping strategies and address the problem at its core.