Psychologist needed right away. Pocovid complications.
The COVID-19 pandemic, with the passage of time, more intensely affects the mental state of all of us and leaves its mark. Initially, the main culprits for lowered mood, fear and anxiety, insomnia, were the fact of the long isolation, the lack of possibility of direct meetings with relatives, as well as the fear connected with the possibility of losing work and worsening financial condition. Health care workers had to deal with an enormous mental burden and it was on them that the first studies were carried out on the impact of the pandemic on mental health. These have shown a significant increase in so-called distress, which in the long term develops into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), similar to the stress of armed conflicts.
Nervous system disorders after Covid-19.
Preliminary studies on the neuropsychological consequences of COVID-19 indicate that about 25% of people may develop central nervous system symptoms of dizziness, headache and brain fog. These symptoms may already occur during the infection, but also several weeks after the infection or later. Similar results were obtained after the last outbreak caused by another coronavirus - SARS in 2003. On this basis, special attention has now been paid to the impact of the pandemic from a neuropsychogenic perspective.
Does coronavirus cause mental illness and disorders?
At present, we are dealing with extensive psychosocial consequences caused by the pandemic, both from the position of social anxiety and from the psychological condition as a complication of the COVID-19 infection. This two-pronged impact of the pandemic means that, more and more often, patients with various ailments or exacerbations of pre-existing diseases and mental disorders appear in the offices of psychologists, psychiatrists and family doctors. Seeking help indicates that we cannot cope in everyday life and that the limit of our adaptation to new conditions has been exceeded.
In addition to the already mentioned symptoms accompanying the epidemic situation, particular attention should be paid to the increase in the level of addiction as a consequence of the ongoing pandemic, and it is not only alcohol abuse that is a problem, but also psychoactive substances and behavioural addictions, such as to telephones, games or television.
How to improve your mental state during a pandemic.
Given the above, one common feature of the pandemic is insecurity, which has become the only constant feature of our reality. Without taking preventive measures, changing our attitude, increasing our mental resources, it will be difficult for us to maintain our psycho-physical well-being. Therefore, if you experience anxiety, lowered mood, insomnia or prolonged stress, you should remember and apply some important principles:
- Take care of your physical activity
Walk, exercise at home, do breathing exercises. Try to devote even a few minutes each day to your activity.
- Don't overdo reading and watching the news about the pandemic
By focusing on this information, which is about new illnesses, number of deaths, restrictions, we cause anxiety and frustration to rise. Instead, read a good, positive book, or watch a film, an interesting programme or cabaret.
- Plan your day, all the routine activities, as well as those to add variety to your day
When you prepare a framework for your day, you take control of the situation. Don't focus on things that are out of your control, you are only wasting energy that could be used for personal development, and for taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
- Eat regularly and healthily
Nothing gives you more strength to work than a good meal. Avoid excess simple sugars and saturated fats. Make your diet more varied, try out new flavours and include plenty of fruit and vegetables. Let your diet be rich in vitamin C, D and B, as well as minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
- Develop your passions, find a new hobby
A time of isolation is, despite appearances, a time of 'reset'. You can slow down, stop for a moment and think if there is something in your life that has been missing so far. Maybe there is something you used to enjoy, but you don't do it because you didn't have time. Perhaps this is a good time to learn something new.
- Take care of social relations
Talk to your friends and family about how you feel. Use internet connections and webcams, this will allow you to feel direct contact, eye contact which is essential in creating good relationships. Infect yourself and others with a smile. Remember that a kind word and peace of mind can be shared from a distance.
- Reduce stress with relaxation training
Take care of your inner harmony, use relaxation, meditation, tai chi training and other techniques that influence your balance. This will keep you calm, but will also help with sleep problems.
You are not alone! Ask a psychologist or psychiatrist for help.
If you feel it's too hard, talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist. There's nothing wrong with feeling like you can't cope. Sometimes realising that your problem can be solved, that it has an end, that your mood is impaired temporarily, will help you cope better with stress. The psychologist will help you to look for new solutions and bring out your inner resources. You will unload your bad emotions and learn to cope with a difficult situation. Sometimes it is necessary to set up drug treatment and include psychotherapy, and this is the only way to return to stability and health.
Despite the enormous burden that we have to bear every day in this extremely difficult situation, let us not be idle towards those around us who are affected by the pandemic and need specialist help.
Author of the text:
Sylwia Krasowska, MA - psychologist