April 22, 2020
Clinical Contributors to this Story
Ramon Solhkhah, M.D. contributes to topics such as Behavioral Health.
By Donna Sellmann
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, it’s good to hear that more than 50,000 people in the United States have already recovered. But the road to that recovery has been long for many individuals, often lasting several weeks. For those patients, they are quite frankly – sick and tired of being sick and tired.
“One of the frustrating things about this disease is that some people may show initial improvement, but then symptoms return, sometimes even worse than before,” says Ramon Solhkhah, M.D., chairman of the department of psychiatry at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “Usually we are accustomed to being sick, getting better, and moving on with our lives. But when you find yourself dealing with fever or other symptoms and get knocked down again, it can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.”
CNN host Chris Cuomo has been very open about his personal fight with COVID-19. He recently shared setbacks that were both physically and mentally straining.
Dr. Solhkhah explains that, at the core, it’s the lack of control that so many people are experiencing. “People feel frustrated, irritable and fatigued. Our sense of schedule is off and regularity is gone.” For people recovering from illness, as well as those who are sick and tired of what our society is going through, he offers the following tips:
- Recognize that you have control over certain things. It’s crucial to get regular sleep and physical activity, so make the effort to maintain a consistent sleep/wake cycle and keep active best as possible.
- Acknowledge your feelings. There’s no such thing as a bad feeling. It’s natural to feel irritable, sad and frustrated. What you can control, though, is your behavior and response to those feelings. When interacting with family or colleagues (hopefully by phone or virtually), be aware of your emotional state and manage your behaviors.
- Hang in there. Everyone is sacrificing and coping with this situation, and we are doing it for a greater good. Reflect on what you are grateful for in your life. And for those who are physically recovering from this illness, be realistic that it may take time to fully feel better and do your best to maintain a positive attitude.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Your Top 8 Questions About Telemedicine Answered
- Drugs & Alcohol Are No Way to Cope – Try These Tips Instead
- Overcoming the Stigma of a Positive COVID-19 Test Result
- Contributor: Ramon Solhkhah, M.D., Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Jersey Shore University Medical Center
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.