Updated: Mar 11, 2021
So, the test was positive? Last Spring, maybe you were one of the unfortunate ones who heard the phrase you dreaded. “You have COVID.” You had to isolate yourself from your friends and family. You missed work. You ran a fever. You lost your sense of taste and smell. Maybe you even had to go to the hospital. Then, one day, your quarantine was over and your fever was gone. It was over…or was it?
If you are like a lot of people, now, even nearly a year later things are not the same. Oh, you’re not sick anymore, but do you feel like you are back to your old self? A lot of people don’t. Many have said that they can’t quite put a finger on it, but there is still something that just doesn’t feel right, and that can be frustrating.
Another aftereffect of the ongoing COVID pandemic is the strain on mental health. More and more research is being conducted and it is confirming what doctors and mental health professionals anticipated. There is more to recovering from COVID than getting through the physical symptoms. In fact, one study from the U.K. suggested that 1 in 5 people with COVID-19 were more likely to develop depression, anxiety, or dementia.
The following are a few of the mental health symptoms that could result from testing positive and a few things we think might help:
When you have been exposed or test positive, the first thing you are told is to isolate so the virus won’t spread. Seems simple right? It isn’t. Isolation means you can’t have dinner with your family, hug your kids, sleep with your partner, or go to work. Isolation means hearing the voices of your family in a distant room while you move on to a new season of the Netflix show you started watching yesterday. Isolation means that you may be developing signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression. Isolation is no joke. Sure it is for the best, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come at a cost.
COVID Related Mental Health Issues
One study from China suggested that symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even PTSD are seen in survivors even a year later. This has lead to feelings of loss in quality of life among some. This doesn’t even take into account the stress and frustration associated with those who have prolonged symptoms like a lingering loss of taste and smell. Some people have unhealthily lost weight do the unappealing experience of not being able to enjoy food.
Economic Impacts on Mental Health
Even if you were able to return to work after having COVID, many businesses have had to shut down. Many companies have had to let workers go because of financial difficulties. It is nearly impossible to remain mentally healthy if you are worried about how to pay your rent or feed your families. For men, this has lead to increased feelings of failure and inadequacy. This, too, can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression.
There is Hope
Maybe you have never thought about treating your mental health after having COVID. Counseling may help you. The mental distress associated with COVID (anxiety, stress, depression) is among the most common and treatable symptoms we see as counselors. Perhaps a few sessions with a counselor could be just what you need to get yourself headed back in the right direction for your life.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we understand that you may not be a fan of the idea of seeing a counselor. We also understand that it can be difficult to reach out and ask for help. We just want you to know that we are here and that you do not have to do this alone. If you are struggling with your mental health after having COVID, you are not alone.
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