Researchers Find Covid-19 PTSD is Real
Covid-19 has changed our lives so much; mask-wearing, social distancing, not seeing friends and family, and now researchers have found that Covid-19 sufferers can face PTSD. As if the experience of suffering Covid-19 wasn’t bad enough, people are facing PTSD symptoms because of the traumatic experience they have gone through. This can last for months after they have recovered, and perhaps even longer (something we will only see as more time passes from the start of this pandemic).
If you have recovered from Covid-19 and think you may be facing PTSD, then please keep reading. Understanding why PTSD is affecting you as well as the symptoms you may face can help you prepare for moments when they seem overwhelming. There is no better weapon against poor mental health than knowledge and support.
The Impact of Covid-19
Researchers from the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have found that some Covid-19 patients have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for months after they leave the hospital. They have identified several long-term symptoms which suggest their mental health has been affected negatively as a result of their experience with the virus.
Covid-19 is such an intense and scary experience for many of the people who are diagnosed with it. Even though it is predicted 80% of people diagnosed with Covid-19 have a ‘mild’ case of it, the experience can still be traumatic. Some of these stories show that even if you face Covid-19 as a relatively healthy, young individual, it can still wipe you out and leave you bedridden for days with confusion, worry and no will-power for anything.
After experiencing something like this, it is not surprising to see some people suffering from PTSD as a result. PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or traumatic events. When suffering from Covid-19, there may have been times you questioned how you could come out the other side of it. And, the symptoms weighing you down could have left you feeling very scared and anxious.
Symptoms of PTSD
People who have PTSD often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks. During flashbacks and nightmares, you can face vivid, repetitive and distressing images, similar to what you experienced in the stressful event. Triggers, reminders and memories can even cause you to feel physical sensations during these flashbacks like pain, sweating, feeling sick or trembling.
People facing PTSD can also have problems with sleeping, such as insomnia, where they find it very difficult to have an undisturbed sleep or to fall asleep at all. A lack of sleep is shown to have a detrimental effect on their mental health, increasing the risk of developing conditions like depression.
People can also try and avoid being reminded of their traumatic event as a way to stay numb from it all. This can be especially dangerous during the Covid-19 pandemic, as being aware of how the world is changing as a result of Covid-19 ensures we remain safe and understanding. If we are turning the TV off and locking ourselves away from the world, then not only are we ignoring reality but we are isolating ourselves from the people who can support us during this tough time. Over time, you can lose interest in activities, hobbies, work or even life as you emotionally numb yourself from the world around you.
There are just some of the more common and severe symptoms of PTSD which can affect sufferers. If you think you have PTSD, it is vital that you gain a diagnosis and then seek appropriate support. Learn more about the symptoms of PTSD here.
So how can you get support for PTSD? Like other anxiety-related conditions or other mental health issues, therapy is an excellent outlet for the people who need outside support for their deteriorating mental health.
Therapists can be the unbiased listener you need to feel safe to share the intimate thoughts and feelings you may be hiding from everyone else. By understanding the complexities of the mental health issues you are facing, a therapist can help you recognise why you are facing PTSD, what it is and how you can overcome the symptoms.
By gaining more control over your mental health, you can prevent PTSD from overwhelming your emotions and live a life full of quality and happiness.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services and how I can support your mental health journey. If you have suffered the virus yourself, you can be facing some terrible symptoms of PTSD, which only make the life you are living worse. Get in contact with me if you want to learn more about how I can help you overcome your PTSD and gain control of your mental health again.