Although rarely mentioned in the US by the media or in PSAs, at least 10% of people with mild acute covid infection are now thought to fail to make a full recovery from their symptoms and return to their pre-existing level of functioning. Long Covid as its often called in Europe, Long haulers as they have been colloquially named by the peer community in the US, or Post Acute Sequelae of Covid 19 (PASC) as the CDC is now referring to it, are all synonymous terms and refer to the multi symptom, multi system post viral syndrome. Many have found that although their initial infection was relatively mild, Long Covid itself is anything but. It can be completely debilitating and cause extreme discomfort and disability.
Psychological support for living with and recovering from Long Covid
Are you feeling down or hopeless about your treatment and future potential for recovery?
Are you struggling psychologically as a result of the significant loss of functioning and quality of life?
Have you experienced gaslighting from medical professionals/friends and/or family claiming there's nothing wrong with you or your symptoms are just in your mind?
Are you feeling lonely as a result of isolation or abandonment by your social network after so many months of being sick?
Do friends tell you you should "think positive" or "practice gratitude" but you just can't seem to access those feelings because you feel so angry, irritable or sad?
Does brain fog make you feel like you are swimming through soup?
Psychotherapy can be enormously helpful in managing all these emotional responses to being sick and the ongoing trauma you are experiencing. In turn when you feel stronger emotionally you will have more resources available to actively pursue your medical treatment.
Although there are many theories as to what is causing and maintaining Long Covid, one of the most commonly accepted mechanism for the maintenance of this multi-system disorder is that the sympathetic nervous system is over activated as a result of the acute viral trauma to the body and so the body is stuck in fight or flight. When thesympathetic nervous system is dominant and not in balance with the parasympathetic system the body is then unable to move back into rest and digest in order to heal and recover.
Psychological interventions can be enormously beneficial to this process. There are many possible psychological interventions for calming the sympathetic nervous system and helping restore the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic. Each individual will respond differently to these depending on their personality, history and prior trauma. I can help you navigate all these possible interventions and find the one that is optimal for you.
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NYC CBTp is an abbreviation for NYC Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Psychology Practice PLLC