The surge of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most unexpected events many people have to deal with despite lacking sufficient knowledge about it. Apart from derailing the standard way of living of people, the disease also caused a large-scale impact on their lives as they’re obliged to conform to the ‘new normal.’
The aftereffects of the coronavirus don’t just cause an impact on a person’s physical health. The disease also leaves lingering effects on one’s mental health. If you feel your mental health has been significantly scarred by your COVID-19 experiences, you may need the help of professional psychiatrists or counselors. Checking the web for service providers like Insight Northwest Counseling and other online counselors may be helpful to start your search.
COVID-19: A Life-Threatening Disease
Dealing with coronavirus disease is never easy. In fact, this particular disease has caused millions and millions of people around the world to forcibly adapt to a new way of living. This includes the mandatory usage of face masks and face shields. Not only that, but this disease has also been costing many people’s lives around the world.
There’s no denying the disease isn’t just changing people’s lives. It’s also affecting one’s physical and mental health in more ways than one. To be able to efficiently deal with this disease, it’s important to know first what it’s all about. Here are important pieces of information about COVID-19, including its symptoms:
- COVID-19 is an infectious disease generated by the recently discovered coronavirus, which may affect one’s physical body in different ways. In its moderate form, the disease could cause someone to develop mild to severe respiratory illnesses that may render them vulnerable to numerous health complications.
- This disease has been reported to be transmitted through droplets, fomites, and direct contact with people who tested positive in the COVID-19 tests. Particularly, the disease could be transmitted from one person to another through sneezing or coughing, which produces droplets of saliva that could contain the virus.
- One may also acquire the disease by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus and then touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, which serve as primary passages of the virus.
- Apart from these, a person affected may also feel muscle pains in different parts of the body and suffer from diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and headache. If severe, some of the signs could include chest pains, loss of movements and speech, skin discoloration, and rashes.
- Although there are also cases of younger generations suffering from the coronavirus, the older ones are said to be more likely to develop the disease, especially those suffering from severe respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
- To counter the effects of the virus, various clinical trials have been conducted to formulate vaccines that could control the symptoms of the disease.
COVID-19 Survivors’ Mental Health
Being a COVID-19 positive has probably become one of the greatest turning points in an affected person’s life. This disease may not have only created a huge dent in their well-functioning life but may have also changed the way they perceived the world. Some people who suffered from the disease may have experienced public discrimination and gaslighting from the people around them. Such experiences could pose a lot of impact on their mental health and significantly affect their overall well-being.
According to studies, 42% of the COVID-19 patients had spent most of their isolation days in the intensive care unit of hospitals. Not all of these people were able to conquer the disease and make it out alive. And some of those who did have required further medications and medical treatments.
It’s said that the pandemic has played a part in the development of mental health disorders among COVID-19 patients and survivors. Among these are posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, panic attacks, and anxiety due to severe trauma and disturbing intrusive thoughts brought about by their negative experiences. Then people who suffer from PTSD could also experience hyperarousal, nightmares, and flashbacks, which may trigger emotional outbursts and breakdowns.
To treat their condition, there are various alternatives they could utilize, including physical therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation, and mental health support. They may also seek help from reliable service providers and registered psychiatrists and psychologists to cure any mental health problems they’re experiencing.
Breaking Free From The Shackles Of COVID-19
Being a COVID-19 survivor is not easy as it may seem. During the time they were ill, they’d have to deal with the challenging experiences that’d test their determination and endurance. There’s also the constant worrying about their loved one’s health and the possibility of succumbing to this terrifying disease. Then after getting through it, there remains the perpetual fear of getting inflicted again and having to deal with the same suffering a second time.
If you’re a COVID-19 survivor who’s having a hard time getting back to the life you once had, there are various things you could consider. This includes seeking professional help for your mental health. There are people who opt to undergo existential-humanistic psychotherapy to treat their psychological conditions. The following are some of the reasons why you may need to seek professional counseling yourself.
1. To Manage Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts
One of the most common manifestations of COVID-19 in one’s mental health is the presence of intrusive thoughts that could affect one’s life in many aspects. While some people successfully get back to their normal lives after managing the aftereffects of the disease, others have to deal with the unwanted trains of thoughts and feelings that cause major distress to them.
These intrusive thoughts could cause a great deal of anxiety in a person and may lead to suicidal thoughts once neglected. These are commonly disturbing trains of thoughts that consist of one’s fears, negative experiences, and fear of one’s death. They’re commonly experienced by people who are suffering from mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
If you’re suffering from these unwanted thoughts, seeking the help of registered counselors may be the best thing to do to treat your condition. Registered psychiatrists and psychologists could help you manage these intrusive thoughts as they could talk you out of them and advise you on some efficient methods to handle them.
They’d normally conduct a full physical exam, including a preliminary psychological evaluation to gauge your level of resistance against the effects of these thoughts. They’d likely review your symptoms and medical history as well.
2. To Develop Self-Awareness
One of the most challenging factors affecting one’s capacity to handle mental health disorders is the possibility they don’t know what they’re dealing with. If you’re a COVID-19 survivor and suffering from any mental health disorder, seeking professional counseling could better help you identify your condition. Consulting a licensed psychiatrist could aid you in determining the factors that resulted in your condition, as well as the measures you need to take to efficiently manage it.
Undergoing psychotherapy and psychological treatments could also help you develop a sense of self-awareness and mindfulness to improve your quality of life and lead a healthier life. This alternative may also serve as an eye-opener to help you realize there’s more to life after conquering the dangers of the coronavirus. Moreover, it could fuel your drive to pursue a better standard way of living.
3. To Understand The Value Of Improving One’s Life
After successfully dealing with the coronavirus, a new chapter of your life begins. You’re given the chance to live a second life after successfully overcoming its challenges, so you must value this chance.
This is what counseling primarily aims to instill in the minds of survivors. It could help you lower down your guard and lessen your burden by talking about your experience. Another major benefit you could gain from seeking professional counseling is the chance to realize the value of your life and why it’s crucial to boost your quality of life instead of wallowing into self-pity.
4. To Strengthen Relationships
Aside from making you realize the importance of continuing your life, another notable advantage you could achieve from undergoing a series of counseling or psychological intervention is helping you build healthier relationships with other people. Having healthy mental well-being could help you cultivate and maintain stronger relationships with the people around you. Also, obtaining companionship and rapport through the company of your loved ones could be of great use in helping you get through your ordeal and get back to your normal life.
Recovering from the aftermath of the COVID-19 disease could be difficult. The road you’d have to take could be a rocky one, and the healing process may require tremendous efforts and time on your part. Aside from affecting your physical health, the virus could also leave a long impact on your mental health. While the task may sound intimidating, especially for first-timers, there are various ways you could utilize to help you get through your condition.
By seeking professional counseling, there are greater chances of getting back the life you once had. It could also help you better improve your quality of life to make it more livable and worthwhile.