The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, and according to the World Health Organization, “the mental health impact of the pandemic will be long-term and far-reaching.”

The pandemic has had a major effect on our lives and mental health. Anxieties around virus transmission, public health actions, of lockdown and social distancing, although necessary in reducing the spread of COVID-19, have contributed to a mental health crisis of stress, depression and anxiety. The uncertainty of employment, financial worries and social alienation has caused both adults and children to feel overwhelmed, isolated and lonely.

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stress can cause the following:

  • Fear and Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low energy levels
  • Decreased interest in pleasurable activities
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Physical symptoms (headaches, body pains, gastrointestinal problems, and skin rashes)
  • Relapse of existing mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances.

For those who have overcome COVID-19 infection and are now in recovery, the physical effects of so-called “Long COVID” and its mental health effects are beginning to become clear and better understood.

There is strong emerging evidence that COVID-19 may have lasting effects on the brain. 1:3 patients recovering from COVID-19 experience neurological or psychological effects from the illness. Over and above the persistent physical fatigue, COVID -19 overcomers often report brain fog, confusion, dizziness, delirium, and other cognitive difficulties.

It is thought that Long COVID can cause mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, mania, and memory problems.

Dr Lerato, can work the journey with you in learning to cope with pandemic stress in a healthy way so as to make you and the people you care about become more resilient.

REMEMBER: Wear your mask; Keep safe physical distance; Wash your hands

VACCINES save lives!