Long Covid: The 'trauma' symptom that can appear in intimate moments

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Long Covid: The 'trauma' symptom that can appear in intimate moments

Some studies have reported that severe coronavirus patients have as much as one third of a chance of developing PTSD.PTSD UK states that as many as

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Some studies have reported that severe coronavirus patients have as much as one third of a chance of developing PTSD.

PTSD UK states that as many as 35 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) patients developed PTSD following their discharge from hospital.

Dr Swapna Mandal, respiratory physician at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, lead a report in the European Respiratory Journal suggesting an 11 percent PTSD rate among patients within the first nine weeks of being discharged.

She said: “While caring for Covid patients, we could see the mental health effects; patients were terrified by what was happening to them and what they were seeing around them.

“Many people who have had COVID-19 report adverse mental health after the infection has cleared, but up to now, there have been very few long-term studies focused on this issue.”

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Dr Marianne Trent, a clinical psychologist, explained how PTSD operates.

“Ordinary things that happen to us get stored away, almost like in a filing cabinet. We can go and draw on them and come back to them when we want to.

“When we are feeling terrified or overwhelmed, we are in a fight or flight response, and the bit of our mind that would normally time and date stamp our experience and file it away in the right draw isn’t online.

“These time and date stamps also tell you that it isn’t now, that is past and happened.”

The disruption to how the memories of traumatic events are processed means that the body might recognise certain physical signs and believe that those events are still happening.

Other triggers for PTSD might also arise from people’s experiences in hospital, at a time when they are in and out of consciousness and that flight or fight response is active.

“You might find that foods that someone has eaten in hospital would send that traumatised person back to their trauma.

“If we were picking berries and we ate some that made us sick, it would make sense for us to stay away from those berries in the future and so our mind marks it as poison.”

PTSD rates among healthcare workers was found to be far greater than patients.

An Oxford study published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology found that 44 percent of frontline staff met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Three quarters of these cases were attributed to traumas suffered before the pandemic, but a quarter were related to their work during the past two years.

Lead author Jennifer Wild said: “In the 76 percent of staff who had PTSD that was unrelated to the pandemic, it is likely that the stressful nature of working during the pandemic exacerbated symptoms or made it harder to recover from them.”



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