What are the mental health symptoms of ‘long COVID’?

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According to experts, counseling could be crucial in curing certain long-term coronavirus symptoms, including brain fog

By now we are all familiar with the main coronavirus symptoms: a high temperature, a new, persistent cough, and a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste.

But now that cases are on the rise again, we are also being warned of other possible red flags to look out for. Possible signs include skin changes such as painful or itchy lesions in younger people, confusion in the elderly, and eye problems, including enlarged red blood vessels or swollen eyelids.

While new cases of the infection may be on the rise, many people who contracted coronavirus months ago during the UK’s “first wave” are still experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. It is known as the “long COVID” and causes people to suffer from shortness of breath and brain fog for months after their initial recovery, experts have found.

‘Brain fog’, cognitive difficulties, cognitive symptoms …

Whatever you call it, there are reports that COVID-19 can cause it.

Rehabilitation Director Claire Dunsterville is working with clinical neuropsychologist Antonio Incisa della Rocchetta to learn more. #WellingtonAskTheExperts pic.twitter.com/Sd3HJnuC75

– The Wellington Hospital (@WellingtonHosp) September 7, 2020

What is long COVID?

A study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin suggests that more than half of patients who contract coronavirus have persistent fatigue regardless of the severity of their infection. The study found that people reported persistent fatigue and exhaustion even 10 weeks after recovering from COVID-19.

A separate study by the COVID Symptom Study App found that tens of thousands of people have had symptoms of the disease for more than three months, with some struggling to climb stairs or go shopping. As we know, some people get sick easily, others are badly affected.

Dr. Michael Beckles, consultant respiratory and general practitioner at Wellington Hospital and the Royal Free NHS Foundation, said he saw several patients suffering from the persistent effects of the disease.

“I see more and more patients who have been shown to have COVID-19 infection in the laboratory and on X-rays, who have cleared the infection and are now still showing persistent symptoms.

“Some of these symptoms are respiratory problems such as shortness of breath and chronic cough. Some still have a loss of taste or smell. And some have other symptoms, like what patients describe as brain fog, and I understand that this is a difficulty concentrating. “

What are the effects of these long-term symptoms?

Dr. Beckles, who is part of a specialist team at a new post-COVID-19 rehabilitation unit, says it can be frustrating for post-recovery patients when test results return as normal but nasty symptoms persist.

For patients who have already had to self-isolate and then have the expectation that their symptoms will improve after a period of time, it is understandable to be disappointed when they don’t. This can affect a person’s wellbeing.

“You can imagine having an infection is horrible. It’s horrible to be sick and at home and in those times a lot of patients have been isolated and are literally to themselves. They want to feel better. When we give them.” so give a way to improve, say six weeks, and then after six weeks they don’t feel better, people feel discouraged. They may be down and need help and support. “

The licensed psychologist Dr. Anna Abramowski says several factors play a role in recovery from COVID-19 – and mental recovery can be just as important as physical recovery.

“Practicing social distancing, quarantine or self-isolation affects our psychological well-being. Linked to feelings of fear and fear is the associated stigma and prejudice that people might encounter after contracting COVID-19, being exposed to someone who has COVID-19, or from a country with commonly reported cases of the virus originates. “

Beckles agrees that recovery from infection is as much about mental as physical well-being. “I think this is one of the key areas the rehabilitation group is helping with access to counselors and psychologists,” said Beckles.

So, if you are struggling with the effects of long-term coronavirus symptoms, or you know someone who is, pay attention to how you are feeling mentally. Of course, it is important to monitor physical symptoms, but it is important not to neglect your mental health during recovery.

If you can, create a space where discussions about mental health are open and welcome. Even if it’s just a matter of saying that I’m not doing so well right now, letting your loved ones know that you are in trouble can be of great help in difficult times.

Looking for support?

Online counseling is a very successful and effective form of support. It is different from a normal face-to-face session and may be more suitable for some people than others. However, you can access help anytime, anywhere.

The Counseling Directory currently lists more than 15,000 professional counselors offering distance therapy – ready and available to help you through this difficult time. Simply select the type of session you prefer (online or over the phone) and browse the available counselors until you find one that resonates with you.

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