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Covid and long term mental health care


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As you know, I've been in treatment for Covid related anxiety since July 2020.  I am on medication and am seeing an MD, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  I know it's helped immensely.

I also believe if I had remained isolated in my own apartment I may not have recovered and probably would have gotten progressively worse.

However, I did get Covid so I faced my worst fear and am still functioning.

I do believe there will be a huge need for mental health support for many years.  So many people are not doing well. Coupled with what's happening politically in the US and there's a lot to deal with that will required a lot of help.

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44 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

As you know, I've been in treatment for Covid related anxiety since July 2020.  I am on medication and am seeing an MD, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  I know it's helped immensely.

I also believe if I had remained isolated in my own apartment I may not have recovered and probably would have gotten progressively worse.

However, I did get Covid so I faced my worst fear and am still functioning.

I do believe there will be a huge need for mental health support for many years.  So many people are not doing well. Coupled with what's happening politically in the US and there's a lot to deal with that will required a lot of help.

I wish I could start a new med right now and maybe I will discuss it with my doctor. 

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1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

My mental health has really done a massive backslide. 

Aww, ((hugz)).. Yes, can be quite overwhelming.. Thankfully, I had been seeing my therapist regularly BEFORE all of this began.. Plus, I was on a helpful medication ( Ativan for anxiety for a while- then weaned off and now on Lamotrigine - to curb my 'moods').. So, now I am kinda just 'coasting'..  Anxiety is underlying constantly though.

So, was I NEEDED was some serious down time - no expectations.  My world to just slow down.  :(.

As long as no big surprises and pressures, I do okay.

I go out do my shopping etc and come home.. I stay in my 4 walls and am fine with it...  I have learned to crochet this past year.. 2nd time attempt and by Xmas I made a number of blankets and dish cloths.  .. Glad I did this!

 

Maybe you should speak with your doctor about something to help you along (anxiety related?)

Always remember.. your Self care.  ❤️ 

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5 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

Aww, ((hugz)).. Yes, can be quite overwhelming.. Thankfully, I had been seeing my therapist regularly BEFORE all of this began.. Plus, I was on a helpful medication ( Ativan for anxiety for a while- then weaned off and now on Lamotrigine - to curb my 'moods').. So, now I am kinda just 'coasting'..  Anxiety is underlying constantly though.

So, was I NEEDED was some serious down time - no expectations.  My world to just slow down.  :(.

As long as no big surprises and pressures, I do okay.

I go out do my shopping etc and come home.. I stay in my 4 walls and am fine with it...  I have learned to crochet this past year.. 2nd time attempt and by Xmas I made a number of blankets and dish cloths.  .. Glad I did this!

 

Maybe you should speak with your doctor about something to help you along (anxiety related?)

Always remember.. your Self care.  ❤️ 

I had stopped care a few years ago because I was very stable. I have been taking clonazepam for 8 years but my present dosage is not enough to handle the current climate. My doctor wanted to start me on Effexor just before all this started. 
 

I am really hoping I re stabilize after this mess is over. 
 

I crochet a lot as well and have done a lot of really involved projects since this started. ❤️

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9 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

My doctor wanted to start me on Effexor just before all this started. 
 

I am really hoping I re stabilize after this mess is over. 

Ohhh, k.. So are you planning on this before all of this is done, I hope?  To either UP your dosage of what you're presently on, or add the Effexor?  Something to consider, since you are feeling the pressure..

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10 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

Ohhh, k.. So are you planning on this before all of this is done, I hope?  To either UP your dosage of what you're presently on, or add the Effexor?  Something to consider, since you are feeling the pressure..

 My doctor doesn’t like me using benzos in fact most doctors in Canada won’t even prescribe them anymore .  So he wanted to switch me over to Effexor .  I can’t take SSRIs because they make me psychotic I’ve tried them before .  So he wanted to try an SNRI.  But then COVID happened and I said I only wanted to make a switch  when I could see him face to face.  But he hasn’t held a face-to-face appointment since last March . 

 

 My current dose of clonazepam is only . 25 mg so very very low. I probably need . 5 mg to handle present life but he won’t up it  because essentially he wants me off it. 

 

 I might just have to use the military channels and maybe see if I can get FaceTime appointments with a counsellor . 

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4 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Anyone else thinking they might need long-term mental health care once Covid is over? My mental health has really done a massive backslide. 

Yeah.  I think my kiddo does, too.  He’s become really defiant.  I have to give sliding room (with respect to not slapping labels on him and stuff), BECAUSE of the pandemic, isolation and all that comes with it...his psyche isn’t seeing his patients in person either because his office is IN the main hospital.  I feel like telehealth is only so helpful in this case.  
 

Honestly, my own therapist was so off the last time I had a virtual visit with her.  Her anxiety was such that she couldn’t put on her blank slate.  I’ve been going to her for so long I know when she’s putting on the face, but this time she just couldn’t do it. 
 

She says our bodies and minds aren’t really designed to withstand the long term of this situation without adverse effects, obviously heightened in people who already have preexisting mental health issues.  
 

I just have accepted the fact that I will be needing more intensive or frequent therapy and possibly a med change.  I was actually doing quite well the last few years, so it’s depressing to think about...but, it’s also normal in a completely “abnormal” situation. 

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3 minutes ago, Cheetarah said:

Yeah.  I think my kiddo does, too.  He’s become really defiant.  I have to give sliding room (with respect to not slapping labels on him and stuff), BECAUSE of the pandemic, isolation and all that comes with it...his psyche isn’t seeing his patients in person either because his office is IN the main hospital.  I feel like telehealth is only so helpful in this case.  
 

Honestly, my own therapist was so off the last time I had a virtual visit with her.  Her anxiety was such that she couldn’t put on her blank slate.  I’ve been going to her for so long I know when she’s putting on the face, but this time she just couldn’t do it. 
 

She says our bodies and minds aren’t really designed to withstand the long term of this situation without adverse effects, obviously heightened in people who already have preexisting mental health issues.  
 

I just have accepted the fact that I will be needing more intensive or frequent therapy and possibly a med change.  I was actually doing quite well the last few years, so it’s depressing to think about...but, it’s also normal in a completely “abnormal” situation. 

That’s the thing while trying to hold our own sh$$ together we have to hold our kids together too. I am sorry M is having issues as well. R has mentioned suicide 3 times in the past little while and has had EPIC meltdowns like when he was little. I am drowning. 
 

Your therapist is right, the human body and mind is not meant to withstand months and months and months of stress and if you have any pre existing mental issues it is a rough time. REALLY rough time . 
 

I am not sure I can take another 12 months of this. 

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4 hours ago, Seraphim said:

I can’t take SSRIs because they make me psychotic I’ve tried them before .  So he wanted to try an SNRI.  But then COVID happened and I said I only wanted to make a switch  when I could see him face to face.  But he hasn’t held a face-to-face appointment since last March . 

 

 My current dose of clonazepam is only . 25 mg so very very low. I probably need . 5 mg to handle present life but he won’t up it  because essentially he wants me off it.

Ohh, I see.. so he is being very careful with you.. yah, you don't want more issue's  😞 

why has he not done any face to face since march?  For so long sounds wrong - they should be doing this!

and why does he want you off the clonazapam?  I think you should be on something?

Meanwhile.. do your best to focus on YOU and self care.. to try & have your life as little going on as possible.. I dont live with news or on social media.. I limit myself with all of that.

I keep with my shows & movies.. music now & then and my crafts.

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5 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

Ohh, I see.. so he is being very careful with you.. yah, you don't want more issue's  😞 

why has he not done any face to face since march?  For so long sounds wrong - they should be doing this!

and why does he want you off the clonazapam?  I think you should be on something?

Meanwhile.. do your best to focus on YOU and self care.. to try & have your life as little going on as possible.. I dont live with news or on social media.. I limit myself with all of that.

I keep with my shows & movies.. music now & then and my crafts.

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive. Here in Ontario many drs won’t do a face to face because of COVID. We were in a strict lockdown from March to July and we have been in lockdown again since Dec 26 because numbers are climbing significantly. We are probably going to have a curfew in the next few days as well . Right now we have a light lockdown but will probably be a hard lockdown soon. 
 

I have had blood work twice and talked to him on the phone twice because I am a diabetic so he keeps a watch on that. 

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6 hours ago, Seraphim said:

I have had blood work twice and talked to him on the phone twice because I am a diabetic so he keeps a watch on that. 

Ok, good he's keeping tabs on that, but still.. to have a simple face to face chat even via your phone/computer, at least they can see you.  I have a friend who does this with his psychiatrist every month.

Yes, I am in Ont as well... our lockdown just started... is really tough times atm  😞 .. which is why i keep to myself, do my own things & do basic shopping.. We need to take care  ❤️ 

I have a mental health support group in Canada, feel free to search, if you'd like to join.

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12 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

Ok, good he's keeping tabs on that, but still.. to have a simple face to face chat even via your phone/computer, at least they can see you.  I have a friend who does this with his psychiatrist every month.

Yes, I am in Ont as well... our lockdown just started... is really tough times atm  😞 .. which is why i keep to myself, do my own things & do basic shopping.. We need to take care  ❤️ 

I have a mental health support group in Canada, feel free to search, if you'd like to join.

Thanks so much ! ❤️

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((((Big HUG)) Seraphim...))))

I have no idea. I've been on perpetual quarantine in order to interact with elderly parents, 90+ and 80+. So I've just been making this all about them-not-me, which distracts me from making it personal.

I tend to stomp my way through my days with occasional 45-second deep weeps, followed by blowing my nose, then moving on with it.

However, I can foresee myself becoming someone who will never remove my mask in public for the rest of my life. 

Who knows? I try to keep my sense of humor, but I've adopted tunnel vision that tries not to project too far into the future.

I hope this made you smile.

Love, Cat

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14 hours ago, catfeeder said:

((((Big HUG)) Seraphim...))))

I have no idea. I've been on perpetual quarantine in order to interact with elderly parents, 90+ and 80+. So I've just been making this all about them-not-me, which distracts me from making it personal.

I tend to stomp my way through my days with occasional 45-second deep weeps, followed by blowing my nose, then moving on with it.

However, I can foresee myself becoming someone who will never remove my mask in public for the rest of my life. 

Who knows? I try to keep my sense of humor, but I've adopted tunnel vision that tries not to project too far into the future.

I hope this made you smile.

Love, Cat

You’re right we have to keep our sense of humour and do things and keep us busy and also be mindful of our health . My daycare keeps me busy. I started doing more “ mindfulness “ last night and took my kiddos for a walk this morning in the fresh air. 

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14 hours ago, Seraphim said:

You’re right we have to keep our sense of humour and do things and keep us busy and also be mindful of our health . My daycare keeps me busy. I started doing more “ mindfulness “ last night and took my kiddos for a walk this morning in the fresh air. 

Yes! I try to be outdoors as much as possible, no matter how much I need to bundle up. It helps me to feel human.

I appreciate small things, and I'm determine to come out of this better--somehow.

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It's been a mixed bag for me.  As much as I feel the losses, I have gained some things as well.  I try to keep my focus on that.

I have an anxiety disorder.  I am sure it isn't healthy, but my constant busy-ness is an attempt to run away from it.   I've gone from 12 hour days (including commuting) to being isolated in my dining room.  Imagine a lifetime of being on the go - to a screaming silent halt.  My anxiety has nowhere to run to. 

It dawned on me years ago that my weekends were a mere 48 hours away from work.  One day to get over it and another day to get ready for it.

The first few months I was riddled with hives and anxiety.  Now 9 months later, though I don't relish the isolation, I am probably the best I have been in a long time. 

I LOVE the ability to fall asleep when I am tired and wake when I am rested.  You don't know how amazing that is unless you've gone without it for years.  I often suspected I was burned out, stressed and exhausted, wondering how much longer I could do this to myself.  Sleeping on weekends doesn't work because your internal clock is set, no matter what.   I also have an autoimmune disorder that I really need to take more seriously.  It hasn't been kind to me in the past couple years.

I've come up with a drill.  On Fridays I pack up and go to my boyfriends (10 mins away) and come home on Sunday nights.  It breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to.  He'd spend everyday with me if I let him.  But being cooped up together with nothing to do isn't good for most relationships.  I give him the gift of missing me.

I thought those days that I could stay home by myself and enjoy my own company were gone.  I used to be able to but somewhere along the way I lost it.  Now when I get in my car to run to market and realize it hasn't been out of the garage in two days, I catch myself saying out loud "who am I?!"

It's not all rosey mind you.  I do get cranky by the end of the week. I will never be a good homebody but this time has given me the gift of facing somethings about myself that I've been running from. But I do miss so many parts of my regular life.  I miss my friends.

When our company returns to going into the office, it will be more of hybrid mix of days in the office and working from home.  Prior to this I spent so much windshield time contemplating my quality of life and what to do about it.  I so much wanted to retire early and get a part time job that would pay just enough for private health insurance.  I just didn't know how much longer I could grind myself, emotionally and physically over a job I didn't like anymore.  So, for now I can continue to do this.  (sitting here in bathrobe, working now. . kinda) 

One of the weird things I've noticed is my dreams are so deep and intense.   I suspect that is relatively normal.  I suppose I hadn't sleep well or deep enough for years.

There are the dark moments, I do feel depression nipping at my heels at times.  I go for long walks a couple times a day.  I've been baking a lot (in between conference calls, or during) but because I can't afford to put on any more lbs, I bake towards the end of the week so I can leave at my boyfriends house.  I've organized my entire home, garage and painted two bedrooms.

My cat looooves having me home 🙂  

Having said all this, I want this to be over.  My lesson in all of this is learning to strike a balance.  I've thought about and talked about it for years, but this has forced me to face it.  I can NOT go back to the way it was.  Just the good parts. . . 

Edited by reinventmyself
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As some of you know I've been going through separation and divorce in the past year and a global pandemic on top of that has forced me to rethink or restructure a lot of my life in different ways. I moved, bought a new place, taken up new hobbies and found new support networks that have carried me through. It appears the pandemic has been one of other reasons for the changes I've made and I see those changes complementing one another so I don't find things disharmonious oddly but very in sync with the type of life I've been wanting for awhile now - to live in peace and relative solitude.

I haven't been perfect and I've gone through a lot of emotional ups and downs. I've also whittled down my tolerance for a lot of behaviours over time that have led to those changes mentioned above and learning to self-care a lot better. I still fail some days and also have tough (really tough) moments. I know that it doesn't define me just as our tough moments as a whole (as humanity) do not define us. I also don't look at people as the flaws they represent anymore but as the possibilities that can or might be.

The things I've learned the past year have been a mixture of wonder, paradox or miraculous. I've found the complete opposite of retribution in places I didn't expect: forgiveness, love, kindness and acceptance by circles I least expected. This has given me a lot of new perspectives and new tools to play with or ways to cope. Because others are kind to me, I am inspired to be kind to others. While I crave solitude, I am also buoyant knowing that in friendship and solidarity there is comfort, learning and growth.

While I'm regretful and mourning the state of things in private, I think there are a lot of other things to be outwardly and inwardly grateful for. I am reminded always of the phrase "to bend and do not break". This has been my mantra so far even if a bit simplistic. I think that's all I really need and the irony is I am blessed with so much more than I sometimes know what to do with so I try to pass it on as much as I can. Realizing that I am so blessed or am so rich in spirit, kindness, friendships and other things that just cannot be measured, I really do not know how to not be somewhat happy even if I feel guilty from time to time. I think there's an answer to that if we can spread that around a little and share.

Thank you for the thread!

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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The first month working from home, I walked every night and almost always cried.  Caught me off guard and kinda concerned me for obvious reasons.  I realized though my mother passed away 16 months prior, I hadn't properly grieved her.  Or fully grieved losing her.   It's all the busy-ness that prevents you sometimes from getting in touch with what's really important.

Turns out I had years of things I ran from waiting here for me. . .sitting alone in my dining room.  Interesting, that when you can't run from it, it's always there waiting for you.  Probably no surprise my anxiety has lessoned.  I learned long ago that anxiety is usually something unresolved.  You deal with it or it deals with you.

I was afraid to stay home alone with my anxiety.  Anxiety is funny that way.  You get anxious about getting anxious.  In the end the pandemic has been this weird unwelcome guest.  I hate it, but I'm thankful for the gifts it gave me at the same time. 

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I was immediately sent to the ER when my BP was 190/110 at the clinic.  They told me the diastolic number was the one that really concerned them.

The doctor's office really wants you to wait until Friday?

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3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

I was immediately sent to the ER when my BP was 190/110 at the clinic.  They told me the diastolic number was the one that really concerned them.

The doctor's office really wants you to wait until Friday?

Yes, my diastolic has been much worse than this before. I am on blood pressure medication already so I am sure he’s just going to increase it on Friday. I don’t want to go near a hospital right now even if it is dangerous . 
 

 

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I don't blame you.  I'm supposed to get an x-ray on my shoulder because I am in pain and only have about 50% use of it but I would have to go to the hospital, check in at the front desk, then go to radiology and sit in the waiting room for my turn.  Then I'd have to go to a changing room, put on a gown and get the x-rays done.  My doctor also ordered a chest x-ray so it will take some time.  The doctor ordered those before I got Covid.  I drove into the hospital parking lot, took a quick look and thought "Nope!" and drove home.  I still won't go even though I don't need to worry about catching Covid.

Thankfully I already got my blood work done and my thyroid med adjusted.

I hope you're able to get the new dose asap.

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I have to walk through a hospital Friday to get to one of the medical buildings and get my breast ultrasound since the mammogram isn't sufficient (it was negative I just also need an ultrasound) . I'm ok with it -I'll be in the hospital less than five minutes, with a mask and typically the ultrasound take less than 10 minutes (I happen to know the technician personally and I'm sure she's taking precautions and likely already got her vaccine).  This is one of the three medical appointments  I did keep -the other two being mammo and well check/lab work.  I don't love it of course.  

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