Long-term COVID-19 side effects are could take toll on mental health

Long-term COVID-19 side effects are taking a toll on mental health

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many people who’ve had COVID-19 are still suffering from side effects weeks and even months later.

It has altered their daily lives and the changes can take a toll on their mental health.

Loss of taste and smell, foggy memory and ear ringing are just a few long-lasting side effects caused by COVID-19.

For people with these chronic side effects, “In some cases it’s a medical trauma almost,” said Dr. Shubi Mukatira, Psychiatrist, Transformation Center.

Some COVID-19 patients experience chronic fatigue after recovery

Mukatira is a psychiatrist with the Transformation Center in Memphis.

“Oftentimes, because it’s chronic, there is a depression that occurs,” said Mukatira.

People living with life-altering side effects may go through the five stages of grief, a theory popularized by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Those stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

“This anger at “why is this happening?” said Mukatira.

But there could also be a 6th stage.

“Called meaning. We get to acceptance and then we find meaning,” said Mukatira. “Maybe there is some meaning from this experience I’ve had that I can derive - to be of service to others, or for my own life going forward.”

Mukatira says finding others going through similar struggles can help with feeling less alone.

Seeking support from a therapist or talking with your physician about your symptoms can also help.

She also suggests practicing mindful gratitude.

“Whether it’s just the feeling of rain or the leaves in the fall, anything that you can find to be grateful for can also be helpful,” said Mukatira.

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