Talk

Advanced search

Coronavirus and PTSD

(19 Posts)
swimkiwipanda Tue 30-Jun-20 00:47:11

Just read an article saying those who were in Intensive Care with CV are at risk from PTSD. I'd say any ICU experience puts you at risk from PTSD but also with CV individuals were separated from family, surrounded by staff in masks, dehumanising the experience, and witnessing an overwhelming level of death.

I can relate in some way as I was in hospital alone, having to have a tube inserted in my chest under local anesthestic, after a shock illness. I remember wanting to be anywhere else, and being observed by a student nurse and a work experience student, while a doctor performed the procedure for their first time and I was in considerable pain, all I wanted was a hand hold. On the ward I had another procedure and my pain was not manged until I screamed and the nurses came running back from the break (believe me it took me a lot to scream I am a calm person) with medication, and being on specialist wards you are surrounded by some of the poorliest people which if you have never experienced is an absolute rollercoaster of life affirmating feelings, horror, you can't unsee/unknow that, and you are changed forever.

Maybe I am dramatising the changed forever but I think that's the PTSD part- the brain is left with this huge experience to make sense of. I most definitely had depression afterwards (as well as flashbacks). I have lots of tips to help deal with it (safe places to go e.g in nature, marking the anniversaries, healing the body with diet, exercise, having a goal or small goals to work towards, joining a support group, telling/supporting others with the same experience, facing fears in a structured way, raising awareness/fundraising) but saying all this it's only in the last six months I feel like I have allowed myself to move on (3 years later) and I still have work to do to move 'beyond' it, it put my life on pause.

So yes I really feel for anyone affected and hope people get help with it/form support groups. No one should suffer alone.

OP’s posts: |
LividLaughLovely Tue 30-Jun-20 05:06:33

I haven’t had Cv but after an unexpected ICU experience I was offered counselling and assessed for PTSD as standard.

(Told I didn’t have it but with hindsight not sure, more like I had good coping strategies).

I think Boris is a complete dick, but I hope he’s getting counselling for his hospital stay for example, and that he puts policies in place to support ICU survivors who will be going through hell.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 30-Jun-20 05:17:54

Anyone who has a long ICU stay is prescribed low dose anti depressants for a while afterwards. I had a relative who spent 10 weeks in ICU and they had a years worth initially.

swimkiwipanda Wed 01-Jul-20 02:41:08

That's really good to know. Even though it must be an awful experience to go through. That there is a pathway to get support. Hugs to anyone who has experienced it/ICU

OP’s posts: |
Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 20:31:33

Hercwasonaroll

Anyone who has a long ICU stay is prescribed low dose anti depressants for a while afterwards. I had a relative who spent 10 weeks in ICU and they had a years worth initially.

Not necessarily. Some hospitals don’t even offer any follow up!

onedayinthefuture Wed 01-Jul-20 20:38:49

It entirely depends, some might be more grateful and thankful for life and the reality of what happened being like some kind of epiphany meaning they will want to live life to the full.

Hercwasonaroll Wed 01-Jul-20 21:09:16

@Haenow Nothing after a long stay? I'm talking weeks rather than days. We were told it was standard practise countrywide.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 21:18:19

Hercwasonaroll

*@Haenow* Nothing after a long stay? I'm talking weeks rather than days. We were told it was standard practise countrywide.

Nope. It’s not automatically offered. While PTSD is common, it’s not necessarily considered when other people have more pressing issues.

Also, length of stay does not necessarily correlate with PTSD risk or severity.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 21:19:12

onedayinthefuture

It entirely depends, some might be more grateful and thankful for life and the reality of what happened being like some kind of epiphany meaning they will want to live life to the full.

@onedayinthefuture

You can be immensely grateful and thankful for being saved while struggling with mental illness at the same time.

onedayinthefuture Wed 01-Jul-20 22:08:21

@Haenow where did I say that no ICU COVID patients would ever suffer from mental health? I didn't. I just said that some might not.

Rubyandsaphire Wed 01-Jul-20 22:44:34

I didn't get any follow up and I've had 3 emergency itu admissions. I did get ptsd and it took a lot for the drs to refer for assessment and treatment. I think it's a postcode lottery what after care you get.

Hercwasonaroll Wed 01-Jul-20 22:52:15

My relative had no other follow up MH wise other than a year of anti depressants and regular GP visits but these were to sort out their physical problems following 10 weeks in a coma.

I can well believe that length of stay doesn't mean the MH effects will be worse/better.

ICU is a very strange place, the absolute borderline between life and death.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 22:58:03

onedayinthefuture

*@Haenow* where did I say that no ICU COVID patients would ever suffer from mental health? I didn't. I just said that some might not.

You said “some might be more grateful”. Why ‘more’? I’m sure virtually everyone is grateful.
This thread was about risk of PTSD. OP never suggested it was everyone who experienced PTSD but it’s a real issue. If you’ve ever been in that position or sat by the bed side of someone in that position, gratitude doesn’t come into it. Gratitude towards the staff and being given a second chance isn’t relevant to whether one develops PTSD. In fact, all evidence shows it is certain physical illnesses which increase the risk of PTSD.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 22:59:25

@Hercwasonaroll and anyone else who may find this helpful....

ICU Steps is a great UK based charity for patients who have been in ICU and support for their families. smile

Hercwasonaroll Wed 01-Jul-20 23:00:58

In fact, all evidence shows it is certain physical illnesses which increase the risk of PTSD.

This is really interesting Haenow. Out of curiosity which illnesses?

Do you work in ICU? If so you are amazing. The staff who cared for my relative were nothing short of outstanding.

Hercwasonaroll Wed 01-Jul-20 23:03:34

Thanks for that recommendation too. I'll certainly give them a look. I think the families get 'forgotten'. Not by the staff but afterwards. The roller-coaster of ICU is traumatic and all people see is your recovered relative. Obviously we're pleased they made it against all the odds, but the experience of being bedside never leaves.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 23:39:36

Hercwasonaroll

*In fact, all evidence shows it is certain physical illnesses which increase the risk of PTSD.*

This is really interesting Haenow. Out of curiosity which illnesses?

Do you work in ICU? If so you are amazing. The staff who cared for my relative were nothing short of outstanding.

I’ve unfortunately spent a lot of time in ICU as a patient on more than one occasion and made it my mission to educate myself and help and support others. It’s been cathartic and inspiring to see so many people rise against the odds.

I’m trying to look at more support for families and carers post ICU with my local carers organisation. I think it’d be specifically helpful for people who unexpectedly find themselves in caring roles.

Haenow Wed 01-Jul-20 23:42:06

Oh and I agree about ICU staff, long and hard shifts and very intensive, emotional work. It’s a tough job and I’m beyond grateful for those who chose to do it. Your life in their hands and they brush off thanks and then thank you because you brought in a box of chocolates. There will never be the words to say thank you for saving your life. I wrote that on a card some years ago and I believe that card is still on the wall.

Nat6999 Wed 01-Jul-20 23:52:48

I was in high dependency with pre eclampsia & HELLP syndrome after giving birth to my ds by emcs, I wasn't intubated but even now 16 years later still have nightmares around ds birthday. I was never offered any MH help by the hospital & ended up getting a diagnosis of PTSD after having
horrific PND & becoming suicidal.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »