Long COVID and Mental Health

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Long COVID and Mental Health Challenges.

The lasting effects of Long COVID can significantly impact both your physical and mental health. Prioritising your mental health is key to helping  manage the health challenges associated with Long COVID. The impact of Long COVID on mental well-being is often underestimated, yet many individuals affected by the condition have shared their struggles with mental health since contracting the illness.

Reports indicate that Long COVID can cause or worsen depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and even symptoms resembling PTSD. Addressing both the physical and mental aspects of Long COVID is essential for moving forward. Counselling that focuses on these challenges can significantly enhance the quality of life for those grappling with Long COVID, empowering individuals to improve their quality of life.

Counselling for Long COVID-related Issues.

How can counselling help you with the mental health challenges associated with Long COVID? At Leone Centre, we offer an integrative and relational approach to therapy. This integrative approach offers supportive and personalised strategies for dealing with the challenges of living with the mental health challenges present in those with Long COVID.

Our therapists can work with you to understand and manage the effects of Long COVID, helping you adjust to these challenges and their impact on your life.

What is Long COVID?

Those who have had COVID-19 and show persistent symptoms for over 4 weeks from the date of official recovery (12 weeks) are then diagnosed with Long COVID. Most people with COVID-19 recover within a few days or weeks of their first symptoms and fully recover within 12 weeks.

Common physical symptoms of Long COVID are:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Problems with Memory and Concentration (‘Brain Fog’)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Joint Pains and Muscle Aches

Long COVID has also been reported to cause or exacerbate a variety of mental health difficulties.

What Mental Health Challenges Are Associated with Long COVID?

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Higher Risk of PTSD
  • Cognitive and Sleeping Disturbances (Insomnia, Hypersomnia)
  • Cognitive Impairment (Attention & Memory Deficits)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The Impact of Long Covid on Relationships, Family, and Professional Life.

The impact of Long COVID on survivors can be challenging, however, it can also affect the lives of loved ones and professionally. Families and partners of those struggling with Long COVID have reported feelings of worry, frustration, sadness, issues with sleep and sex life, disruptions in managing family time and activities and an increase in family expenses. Professionally, those with Long COVID may be unable to work because of their symptoms, which can cause feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, stress due to issues with finances and a fear of losing their partners, friends or closeness with family members.

Benefits of Counselling for Issues Caused by Long COVID.

At Leone Centre, our Therapy and Counselling services have assisted many clients in understanding, addressing, and overcoming the challenging impact of depression, anxiety, PTSD and Disordered Sleeping. Your Leone Centre therapist is dedicated to supporting you through these challenges by:

  1. Exploring the underlying causes and symptoms of your Long COVID mental health challenges.
  2. Sharing methods to stop negative automatic thoughts that impede your personal fulfilment and progress.
  3. Engaging in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to effectively manage symptoms.
  4. Developing practical tools and strategies to prevent feelings of overwhelm.
  5. Discovering and nurturing your potential, facilitating a more fulfilling and joyful life experience.
  6. Manage PTSD characteristics through self-care practices and CBT, EMDR and Trauma-focused Talking Therapy.

Sources: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1138389/full https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/06/21/hhs-issues-advisory-mental-health-symptoms-and-conditions-related-long-covid.html https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/2522218-long-covid-places-huge-burden-on-survivors-families,-new-research-suggests https://solvecfs.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Loving-Someone-with-MECFS-or-Long-Covid.pdf https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/covid-19/long-term-effects-of-covid-19-long-covid/