1. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Patients, Families, and Caregivers
This chapter looks at the most common mental health symptoms associated with patients and their families dealing with COVID-19. Post-traumatic stress symptoms are the most commonly reported symptoms that patients and their families experience, expressed as depression, helplessness, irritation and anger, and anxiety.
2. Symptoms of Mental Health Problems in Patients, Families, and Caregivers Living With COVID-19
PTSSs (post-traumatic stress symptoms) include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritation and anger, emotional numbness, mood swings, and psychosomatic responses such as headaches, panic attacks, and heart palpitations. Depression and anxiety are often expressed as anger or irritability. Many patients and their caregivers and families may not recognize these as signifiers of mental health concerns.
3. Practices to Address Mental Health Symptoms in Patients, Caregivers, and Families
There are a variety of simple ways to help patients, families, and caregivers deal with mental health concerns, such as naming some of the symptoms being experienced, actively problem-solving practical issues, and listening to the story of what happened. Other practices, such as breathing techniques and communicating as clearly as possible about expectations and what is known, can also minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression.