What Are The Potential Mental Health Effects Of Long Covid?

Recent studies reveal alarming long term mental health implications for Covid-19 patients. In this article, we examine the potential impact of Long Covid on mental health, and how psychiatrists can help.
What Is ‘Long Covid’? The Impact Of Long Covid On Mental Health The Knock-On Effects Of Lockdown Mental Health Services During Covid-19 Getting Help Quickly
“Coming down from an episode is like cleaning up a party that I wasn’t even invited to, where everything has fallen apart, and it’s all my fault because I am the one who made the mess.” Jess, 47

While much has been done to understand the physical implications of contracting Covid-19, we have yet to grasp the potential long term mental health implications for patients. The necessary isolation experienced during initial recovery, coupled with natural feelings of frustration, fear and anxiety as the body fights off infection, can have a much greater impact than many yet understand or appreciate.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the potential mental health effects of Long Covid, and how contracting, fighting and recovering from the virus can affect your emotional and psychological health. We’ll also examine what Long Covid is, and when you should seek help from your GP or psychiatrist about your mental health.

What Is ‘Long Covid’?

Although for most people Covid-19 remains a mild and brief disease, others suffer for months with ‘Long Covid’ symptoms, such as fatigue, breathlessness and persistent pain. Long Covid can be extremely debilitating and even the simplest tasks, such as going for a walk, can feel exhausting and overwhelming.

Understandably, the world’s primary concern has been reducing overall cases of Covid and saving lives. However, the potential long-term effects of the disease have yet to be addressed and experts are only now identifying ongoing issues faced by those who successfully fought off an initial infection.

As the effects and severity of Covid-19 differ from case-to-case, it’s hard to recognise a pattern behind people’s Long Covid symptoms. According to first-hand accounts, we understand crippling fatigue to be the most common — exhaustion unlike anything sufferers have experienced before.

Other symptoms of Long Covid include breathlessness, a consistent cough that won’t go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of taste and smell as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and stomach.

There is also a lack of scientific evidence to suggest a link between the severity of symptoms and the development of long-term issues. At this stage, we are relying on the ideas and theories of leading scientists and the results of small initial studies to offer vital insight. We empathise with the frustration many Covid-19 patients feel when their symptoms seem to continue indefinitely, and are urging the medical community to take careful note of the mental health symptoms their patients are bringing to them in the weeks and months after initial infection.

The Impact Of Long Covid On Mental Health

Considering how quickly Covid-19 has established itself as a highly infectious disease, it’s understandable that doctors and scientists are not yet well-equipped to deal with long term mental health symptoms in patients. The problem is much larger than many realise. In fact, a recent US study revealed that one in five Covid-19 patients had been subsequently diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or insomnia, in the months following initial infection.

Due to the many variations in Covid-19 symptoms, it is difficult to predict how the virus will impact long term mental health. Those already suffering from conditions which are easily exacerbated by a global pandemic, such as OCD or severe anxiety, may experience heightened symptoms not addressed by their current treatment plan. Those who had previously overcome a mental health condition may be prone to relapse while fighting the virus. Those who have never experienced a mental health disorder, but who now find themselves affected by negative thoughts and emotions, lack existing support structures to help them manage their symptoms.

There is an increasing focus on the physical recovery of Covid-19 patients. However, we must also consider the mental health of those who face a long battle with ongoing Coronavirus symptoms. When we are physically well, suffering from a mental health condition can leave our energy levels depleted. Suppose we are physically weakened due to infection. In that case, a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety can cause severe knock-on effects, including extreme fatigue and an inability to care for oneself or others. With suicide rates continuing to rise, it is essential that Covid-19 patients have access to the mental health services they need.

The Knock-On Effects Of Lockdown

Covid-19 has had a lasting impact on the mental health of our nation. Extended periods of lockdown have resulted in financial uncertainty, disrupted routines and an inability to see loved ones or partake in hobbies and interests. Funerals, weddings, birthday parties and important family events have been postponed or cancelled during this strange period of stasis — children have been removed from school, parents from work, businesses have been told not to stay open. In situations such as these, an increase in instances of poor mental health feels almost inevitable.

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to mental health disorders at this time, as they are removed from their social and educational settings and less able to express their emotions than adults. That is why it is crucial to prioritise support systems for child mental health during Covid-19, and to ensure that those children who may be separated from caregivers, recovering from infection or facing the knock-on effects of Covid-19 on their parents, are given additional support from appropriate mental health providers.

Mental Health Services During Covid-19

The potential mental health implications of Long Covid, and the pandemic in general, are many and various. Unless people receive the support and resources they need during this time, we will see a significant increase in cases of mental health disorders in the coming weeks, months and years.

Those of us simply feeling a little frustrated with being cooped up during lockdown and missing our friends, can turn to the web for advice on how to focus on wellness, mental and physical health during Covid-19. But what about those suffering from a more serious mental health disorder, for whom a workout, walk around the block, or daily yoga session simply will not suffice? If you, or a loved one, are experiencing mental health difficulties during Covid-19, please don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a mental health professional. Whether this is your local GP, a private psychiatrist or your existing therapist, seeking help fast and early is key.

Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, which are now being linked to Long Covid, require professional treatment to manage the symptoms and improve a sufferer’s quality of life. Unfortunately, many people are hesitant to seek the help they need, often due to shame, fear or a misplaced belief that they should simply “soldier on” and ignore how they are feeling. Seeking help is a positive step, not a sign of weakness, and will enable you to enjoy better mental health and overall happiness in what is an incredibly challenging time for us all.

Getting Help Quickly

We are living in uncertain and unpredictable times. We all need to be mindful of our wellbeing and take nothing for granted, including our mental health. Coronavirus related or otherwise, we’re seeing conversations around mental health growing, which gives us the hope that people suffering from symptoms of a disorder will address their concerns and seek help.

If you are currently suffering from the symptoms of a new or ongoing mental health issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. Whether Long Covid, lockdown depression or an entirely different condition has led you to us, we are ready and waiting to ensure that you have the advice, guidance and support you need to enjoy better mental health and happiness.

Speak with a Consultant Psychiatrist today

Have you suffered from Long Covid and resulting mental health issues? Or are you struggling with symptoms of a mental health issue due to the restrictions and isolation of the pandemic? We are here to help. Get in touch with our team today and receive the bespoke treatment you need.
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Gemma Luke

My name is Dr Gemma Luke, a consultant clinical psychologist. I have been working in the field of mental health for over 20 years, and as a qualified clinical psychologist since 2011.

Conditions I treat:
Self-HarmAddictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBehaviour problemsDepression Eating DisordersOCDPanic AttacksPersonality DisordersTrauma & PTSDOffending behaviour (domestic, violent, and sexual abuse)Behavioural issues

I am passionate about promoting positive mental health and strive to work holistically with both mind and body to help my clients achieve lasting change.

Fees

Initial consultations: £245 (1 hour)

Follow-up consultations: £245 (1 hour)

Alexandra Madureira

I’m a Clinical Psychologist who thinks outside the box. I have a creative and passionate approach that focuses on healing emotions while also considering life situations and neurobiological mechanisms.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAddictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBrain inuryBehaviour problemsChronic painDepression Eating DisordersFibromyalgiaMemory problemsOCDPanic AttacksPersonality DisordersTrauma & PTSD

I believe feeling safe is a prerequisite for change and therefore I focus on making people feel comfortable, so they can gain the courage to face and break unhelpful psychological patterns.

Fees

Please contact us for more information

Dr Ana Tsakiri

My Trauma-informed practice and holistic therapeutic approach aims to support children during periods of acute crisis but also help them with long standing emotional and behavioural difficulties. I work with families to understand how adversity and trauma has impacted a child’s world causing emotional and mental health difficulties as well as physical symptoms. I am also a Consultant Psychiatrist specialised in Interventional Psychiatry with TMS therapy for young people with resistant emotional difficulties and severe depression.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyAutismBehavioural problemsBDDBipolar disorderBrain inuryComplex TraumaDepression Eating DisordersEmotional Difficulties Family workInterpersonal relationship problemsOCDPanic AttacksParental Psychoeducation about Mental Health DisordersPersonality DisordersPhychosomatic symptomsPsychosisPTSDSleep problems

The aim is always for your child to overcome the negative influence of the experience, redefine how they feel and rebuild their confidence

Fees
First Consultation:
£395
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£650
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£790
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£245
(30 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£295
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£395
(60 min)

Dr Jonathan Garabette

I am a Psychiatrist specialising in General Psychiatry and Medical Psychotherapy. I treat most mental health difficulties and offer a range of approaches including medication, psychological therapies and lifestyle modification.
Conditions I treat:
Depression and Dysthymia​Depression and Dysthymia​Depression and Dysthymia​

I always try to focus on understanding you as a whole person and how any symptoms, problems and diagnoses affect you, your life and what is important to you.

Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£275
(30 minutes)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 minutes)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 minutes)

Lynn Gruwez

I’m a Clinical Psychologist with experience across a range of mental health conditions. My goal as a therapist is to see each person as someone unique and human. I seek to understand in depth the nature of any mental health symptoms so that I can flexibly and creatively adapt therapy to suit your circumstances.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAddictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBehaviour problemsChronic painDepression Eating DisordersFibromyalgiaOCDPanic AttacksSleep problemsTrauma & PTSD

I believe in a holistic, non-judgemental approach where clients have the space and freedom to share their fears without constraint. I have a strong interest and passion for Mindfulness.

Fees

Please contact us for more information

Dr Triveni Joshi

I am a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with over 15 years clinical experience. I treat a wide variety of mental health and emotional conditions with an emphasis on holistic treatment and working with parents/carers.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAngerAnxietyAutismBDDBipolar disorderBehavioural difficultiesDepression Emerging Personality DisordersOCDPanic AttacksParentingPsychosisSleep problemsTrauma & PTSD

I love to work with children. I wholeheartedly believe that early intervention is one of the best ways to successfully manage long term mental health problems.

Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

Dr Regina Sala

I am a caring and approachable medical doctor specializing in cognitive, behavioural and emotional well-being in children, adolescents, adults and their families. My ethos is to offer excellence of care based on evidence-based research with respect and compassion.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAutismAddictions AnxietyAttachment difficultiesBDDBehaviour problemsBereavement, grief and lossBipolar disorderBrain injuryChronic painDepressionEating DisordersFamily TherapyFibromyalgiaIntellectual disabilityMedically unexplained symptomsOCDPanic AttacksPersonality DisordersPsychosisPsychosomatic symptomsSleep problemsSocial communication disorderSpecific learning disordersTics and Tourette’s syndromeTrauma & PTSD

I see my patients as human beings and aim to foster a sincere and relaxed environment so that we can build trust during our sessions. I believe in a positive body-mind integration with neuroscience’s principles to empower self-awareness, resilience and personal growth

Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

Dr Maria M. Herves

I am a General Psychiatrist with great interest in childhood and adolescence psychiatry. I have been working specifically in this field over the last 10 years. I believe that supporting mental health at early stages in life can prevent it from developing further into more persistent difficulties in adulthood.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyAutismBehaviour problemsBipolar disorderChronic painComplex trauma and PTSDDBT(Dialectical behaviour therapyDepressionEmotional DysregulationFamily workFibromyalgiaMemory problemsOCDPanic AttacksParentingPersonality DisordersPsychosisPsychosomaticSchool bullying and cyberbullyingSleep problems

I regard the patient as the product, not the problem. They are a result of their environmental, genetic and social influences, all of which can be addressed and supported with professional help.

Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£250
(30 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

Dr Iyas Assalman

I am a Consultant Psychiatrist specialised in General Adult Psychiatry. I treat a wide variety of mental health and emotional conditions and I have an expertise in treating Adults with ADHD.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyBDDBehaviour problemsBipolar disorderDepressionMemory problemsOCDPanic AttacksPsychosisSleep problemsTrauma and PTSD

Rather than seeing you as a diagnosis or trying to change your personality, I want to understand my patients as a whole person.

Fees
First Consultation:
£495
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£745
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£980
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£290
(30 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£385
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£495
(60 min)

Dr Luis Alameda

I am a General Adult Psychiatrist and a Neuroscience Researcher. I specialise in severe mental conditions including trauma. I offer an individualised intervention integrating psychotherapy and medical approaches.

Conditions I treat:
AnxietyBorderline Personality DisorderBipolar disorderBrain inuryBehaviour problemsChronic painDepression Dissociative disordersNarcissistic Personality DisorderOCDPanic AttacksPersonality DisordersPsychosisReactions to acute stressSchizophreniaSchizoaffective DisorderSleep problemsTrauma & PTSD

I believe that difficulties in managing mental health are a normal part of life and far more common than you might think. They present an opportunity to understand the problem, become more self-aware and progress on your journey.

Fees
First Consultation:
£395
(1 hour)
Follow-up consultations:
£220
(30 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£330
(45 min)

Dr Lara Lavadiño

I am a General Adult Psychiatrist specialised in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I have specialist expertise in managing complex and long term conditions. I am an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) certified psychotherapist also integrating Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Systemic Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy principles.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyAutismBDDBehaviour problemsBrain injuryChronic fatigueChronic painDepressionDissociationFibromyalgiaLearning DisabilityOCDPanic AttacksPanic/AgoraphobiaParentingPerformance anxiety in Music, Acting and SportsPerinatal PsychiatryPersonality DisordersPsychosisSleep problemsSocial phobiaTinnitus and VertigoTrauma & PTSD

I believe in a positive psychiatry approach, empowering both children and adults to overcome any difficulties by providing education and support on their condition, along with a holistic and personalised treatment plan.

Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

Dr Srinvas Lanka

I am a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Adult Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. I treat a wide variety of mental health and emotional conditions and have specialist expertise in managing complex and long term conditions.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAutismAddictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBrain inuryBehaviour problemsChronic painDepression Eating DisordersFibromyalgiaMemory problemsOCDPanic AttacksPersonality DisordersPsychosisSleep problemsTrauma & PTSD

I try to understand your treatment goals, values, limitations and preferences, so we can personalise your treatment using the best approach that gives you sustained recovery.

Fees
ADHD Initial Consultation:
£1160
(2 hours)
Initial Consultation:
£870
(1.5 hours)
Follow-up Consultation:
£290
(30 min)
Follow-up Consultation:
£580
(1 hour)

Dr Jonathan Garabette

I am a Psychiatrist specialising in General Psychiatry and Medical Psychotherapy.
I treat most mental health difficulties and offer a range of approaches including medication, psychological therapies and lifestyle modification.

Conditions I treat:
Addictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBorderline Personality DisorderComplex TraumaDepersonalisationDepression Eating DisordersInsomniaOCDSleep problemsPanic AttacksPsychosisTrauma & PTSD

I always try to focus on understanding you as a whole person and how any symptoms, problems and diagnoses affect you, your life and what is important to you.

Fees
Initial Consultation:
£1160
(2 hours)
Initial Consultation:
£870
(1.5 hours)
Follow-up Consultation:
£580
(1 hour)
Follow-up Consultation:
£290
(30 min)

Dr Nagore Benito

I am a General Adult Psychiatrist with extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of most mental health conditions. I offer a person-centered and holistic approach.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyBDDBipolar disorderDepression OCDPanic AttacksPsychosisSleep problemsTrauma & PTSD

The best six doctors anywhere, and no one can deny it are sunshine, water, rest, and air, exercise and diet. These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing Your mind they’ll ease Your will they’ll mend And charge you not a shilling
– Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990

Dr Alberto Pertusa

I have a strong interest in behaviour modification, lifestyle optimisation and the use of self-quantification as a way to foster wellbeing and increase performance.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAddictionsAnxietyBinge EatingOCDOrthorexiaSleep problems

I always strive to provide the highest standards of care to all my patients.
I endeavour to offer personalised and bespoke treatment in order to meet your specific needs