Post-Covid Stress Disorder: Post-Covid Stress Disorder is similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is a mental health problem that can affect people who have recovered from Covid-19. It is particularly likely in people who have been to the ICU due to the illness. Some symptoms of Post Covid Stress Disorder include headaches, anxiety, insomnia, lethargy, irritability, and mood changes, among others.

Post-Covid Stress Disorder: Signs, Treatment and Everything You Need to Know
Post-Covid Stress Disorder: Signs, Treatment and Everything You Need to Know. Picture Credits: Pixabay

People who have recovered from Covid-19 are very likely to suffer from Post Covid Stress Disorder and might experience severe fear of getting infected by the virus again, death, losing loved ones, and have nightmares about the pandemic. The sight or mention of hospitals and the pandemic, news about the pandemic, or anything related can trigger their symptoms. People suffering from Post Covid Stress Disorder will try to avoid everything related to the pandemic, including going to the hospital for any other condition. 

What are the Early Signs?

The early signs of Post Covid Stress Disorder may start appearing in less than a month, but sometimes it might even appear only after a year. The early signs and symptoms of Post Covid Disorder can range from.

● Lack of concentration
● Loss of sleep
● Lack of interest in daily activities
● Fluctuating mood

Other symptoms fall under four categories, i.e., avoidance, intrusive memories, changes in emotional and physical responses, and negative changes in mood.

Avoidance: They start avoiding everything related to the pandemic, like reading or listening to news and discussions about the pandemic, reluctance in visiting doctors, or anything else that reminds them of Covid-19. A simple thing like a mask or coughing could set them off.

Intrusive memories: The period when they were suffering keeps running in their head over and over, and they constantly live in the fear that they will be infected again. They might get flashbacks from the incident and even get nightmares or other upsetting dreams about the pandemic. The fear of the pandemic might always be on their mind and will stop them from thinking about anything else.

Negative changes in mood: People suffering from Post Covid Stress Disorder may lose interest in the activities and things they enjoyed earlier. They might not be interested in interacting with people, and the quality of their intimate relationships might suffer. Some other symptoms include becoming withdrawn, irritability and mood swings, breaking down for no justified reason, being hopeless about the future, constant feelings of sadness.

Changes in emotional or physical responses: They might start getting startled easily, or be defensive about every small thing. You might find people suffering from this disorder to burst out on people without any apparent reason, indulge in self-harm, or self-destructive behaviour like turning to alcohol and smoking.

If not addressed on time, the symptoms start worsening and may reach such severity that it interferes with daily functioning. People suffering from Post Covid Disorder are very likely to lose sleep, ability to work, lose interest in personal relationships and be on the edge all the time.

Who Are the Primary People Who Get Affected by it?

Anyone who may have recovered from Covid-19 stands the risk of suffering from Post Covid Stress Disorder due to the trauma they undergo as they experience the illness first hand. The more prolonged the illness and the more severe the symptoms, more is the risk of developing it.
People suffering from pre-existing mental conditions like depression, anxiety, or others might find their conditions getting worse.

People who have been to the ICU for treatment are also at greater risk of suffering from the disorder, PTSD, or post-intensive care syndrome (PICS).

How do Men Get Affected?

Men and women can both get affected by this disorder, but some factors make men much more vulnerable.
Additional stress or worries mentioned below, may worsen the stress and make certain people more vulnerable:
● Constant worry about finances.
● Loss of interest in personal relationships
● Loss of libido or erectile dysfunction
● Inability to sleep or CoronaSomnia
● Suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behaviour
● Irritability, mood swings, and getting angry or breaking down for no reason
● Loss of appetite
● Feeling of lethargy or tiredness.

How Does One Deal With It?

Following are several ways of dealing with Post Covid Stress Disorder.
● Get regular exercise
● Psychotherapy services. Seek professional help.
● Talking to loved ones, friends, and colleagues
● Practice yoga and meditation daily
● Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
● Drink plenty of water.
● Steer clear of alcohol and tobacco.
● Good natural sleep or good sleep with sleep aids.

Some of these might need extra effort to get started as motivation levels may be very low in people suffering from Post Covid Stress Disorder.