Katharina Boettge

How Covid and long term health conditions can affect our mental health and how we can benefit from therapy

I have had extensive experience and training around Covid, long-Covid and long-term health conditions. Additionally, I have personally suffered from these myself.

Living in a pandemic
This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for all of us; some have been affected differently to others. Lockdowns and self-isolation alone has brought many complex problems. Many have been very lonely, for example living alone, not being able to see family, friends and work colleagues. This can cause a deep sense of isolation, boredom and feelings of depression. Others have been forced to be around house mates, partners or family including looking after their children full-time (doing homeschooling). We know that this constant, imposed proximity with their household has caused a great increase in domestic violence, alcoholism, stress and a general deterioration of one's mental health. Many had to work from home, whilst not getting any help with childcare and education for their children. Whilst this is very stressful in addition people had to support their children, who often have suffered themselves.
This pandemic has also raised people's anxiety levels; out of fear of contracting it (particularly when having underlying health conditions), for the well-being of others and about the uncertainty of the future.

Living with Covid and long-Covid
Having Covid can present a range of different symptoms; some seem to be ok, others struggle badly and sadly in the worst case scenario it can be fatal. We still have not learned the full extend of the effect of Covid including long-term damage to certain organs. We recognise that some suffer from symptoms for an extended period including permanent damage. Having experienced Covid and long-Covid requires a time of adjustment, not just physically but also psychologically. Loss of income, living with pain and difficulties due to high sickness levels at work are a few examples that cause distress, anxiety and adjustment difficulties. Others sadly have been bereaved by someone who passed away due to Covid.

Managing general long-term health conditions
Many of us suffer from some long-term health conditions that can cause restrictions to our daily lives, pain, discomfort, fatigue, brain-fog, weight issues, etc. In therapy I offer pain management strategies, help to come to a level of acceptance and emotional support. In my experience psychological help can be essential to improve people, who suffer, mental health and even their physical presentations.
One example that has been significant from my experience is of feeling not believed. I often have heard clients say "I feel like others think I make it up" or "I feel guilty because I am a burden".

We live through difficult times and hence need to support eachother; I would be honoured if I could assist you along this journey.

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