Post Covid Depression or the current situation of... - ICUsteps

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Post Covid Depression or the current situation of my life?

DivSin profile image
DivSin

Hi! It's my first post here.

I've had a moderate to serious case of Covid; 52 percent lung damage at the time of admission. I was discharged from hospital on 13th May. My dad, 64, had caught it from me and we both were hospitalised, first me, 6 days then him 5 more.

I've been in a long distance relationship with a wonderful guy from the US (am from India). We were planning on going ahead with it and getting married. But, things worsened pretty quickly after I last talked to him on 16th Feb (probably); he got his covid vaccine and, after a month, I was told by an indirect source (14th March) that due to serious reaction to a covid vaccine, he was hospitalised.

After talking to a few doctors on the Internet, I have concluded that it must be anaphylaxis and other 'critical' complications. The 'indirect source' that informed me about him, officially used 'still in medically induced coma til further improvement' term on 14th April.

As you can see, not a lot can be concluded from the information above. I am not sure, if he's been put under for at least 1.5 months or more or just a few days. The source has gone silent, now.

About me, I have lately become really sad and I have lost all hopes in life. I did get bizarre, vivid dreams during and after 6 days on ventilator; nightmares that don't let you fall asleep. My oxygen had fallen to 82. But, now that I am physically a lot better, my mind is in a dark place. I have had bipolar disorder before, but I never feel better anymore (as in mania).

Is post covid depression something or just that I'm going through a really bad phase in life? I have been a bit suicidal but never acted. But, I've lost all hopes now. Please, help!

18 Replies

Just to let you know anyone who has been in ICU including patients with covid may suffer from delirium including vivid hallucinations. I don’t know what support you can get in India but in the Uk you would start by asking the hospital you were in or your GP.

Thank you! Thinking about visiting my psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Hi. Depression is a common feature of post covid recovery and I suspect any icu recovery. You have been through great trauma and now, like all of us, have a daunting recovery marathon to run. The drugs you were on can trigger depression. The environment you were in meant you you could not rest. Some sources believe covid itself can trigger depression. PTSD is common and depression is one factor of that.

For many of us it would be more surprising not feel depressed. I would recommend you try and see if there is some psychological or counselling support you can obtain? also are there any support groups you can join, either talking ones or on facebook etc?

Finally consider anti- depressants. You need to find the right one for you. You may find that they help you reduce the dips of depression? Have a chat with your Doctor .Best wishes, Pete x

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to PeterJu

Thank you so much, Pete! I have been trying to have a conversation with people around me but I really don't have many friends or siblings or cousins who would listen. I tried talking on social media one on one, but those people who haven't been there can at most feel sorry for me. They aren't experts or even good listeners at least. I have a quick understanding of people's behavior cuz that's part of my job. I think, it's in my best interest to check with a doctor now. At least, they'd have some expertise in counselling if any, and medicines certainly. My bipolar medicines were always too strong and made me nauseous all day and night long. So, I decided I'll take care of myself and for last 8 years am alright; except for now. But, it's time to see a doctor than have more rot in my brain. Thanks again! X

PeterJu profile image
PeterJu in reply to DivSin

Hi. I think it’s a good plan to speak to your doctor. Which country are you based in? Here in the UK, GPs on average only see one person from Icu every 2 to 3 years. That means the problem for us is often they don’t really have the expertise to deal with your issues. I found going back to the critical care outreach team at hospital was a better route for me personally.

You’re quite right about people that haven’t been through the experience. It’s no reflection on them, it’s just that you have to have been through it to really understand it.

Good luck, Pete

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to PeterJu

Yes, here in India, they've private clinics and hospitals in psychology and psychiatry. I have a couple of doctors in contact but calling them won't be of much avail. I think that visiting them would be good. I've been covid negative since a fortnight so there's no problem for anyone seeing me plus all health care professionals are vaccinated. We don't see GPs, I usually look into there experience in their field and education etc since I'll be spending from pocket, it's good to select. Thank you! Support here is quick and already uplifting! X

Fortunately for me my problems were not covid based.But I do know that coming out of ICU fog it is very easy to put things down to that when they might not be at all. For example,I have always had a hopeless sense of direction and when my wife was driving had no idea where we were going but she pointed out to me that I never did have.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Tedsdad

Thank you for your reply! Didn't know that it was something before coming here.

Hi. It seems you have quite a few things going on that could be making you feel depressed. I was in ICU for a long period and was on a ventilator and sedated. During that time I had ICU delerium and like you the dreams were nightmares. To help I was given an antidepressent at night until I was released from hospital care. The dreaming stopped once out of ICU and I do not suffer from nightmares now. While the experience of ICU is still with me , I am not depressed in the same way you are writing about. I suggest you see your GP for a follow up and they may prescribe a suitable tablet to help.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

Hey! Thanks for your reply! How long were you on ventilator? Yes, I've been to my psychiatrist. He prescribed some pills which are again making me nauseous. He said it shall get better with time. I got a lil counseling but it didn't feel any better to talk to someone who is really practical. It rather felt offensive. I'm not going to continue such a counseling which tells me to give up hope on someone close to me and just move on. From forums and real people's actual experience including here, I feel all hope shouldn't be given up so soon. People take a long time in recovering from prolonged medically induced comas. I shall just continue with medicines. Was drowsy and nauseous all day. Will see how it goes. Actually, you might be right about depression not continuing after discharge. Maybe, it's just the worst phase in my life. I'll try to focus on work more and wait out on life to get better while probably continuing with medicines if I can!

Marty29 profile image
Marty29 in reply to DivSin

I was on a ventilator and sedated for about 4 weeks. Once I came round and was more aware of where I was, things seemed to settle down. My main issues after Covid were mobility , which I regained after physio at a community hospital, and fatigue which I still have. I have not been able to return to work yet, and have been out of care since end of November. My GP has been following up as has the hospital I was in. I think you should do what suits you and if you found the counsellor unhelpful then you are probably right to stop seeing them. Better to find a sympathetic ear, a friend or family.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

4 weeks is quite a time. Is there any resulting complication? I do not know if in this person's case, what is more dangerous, the underlying conditions or recovery or the sedation itself. In my case, I was very calm. The pain was maybe the worst I felt till now which took all my attention. I got tiny naps and repetitive nightmares. I still don't feel the food or taste unless it's stuck or I get coughing fits which have reduced considerably now. Don't have taste or smell yet. Had some nose bleeds.

Marty29 profile image
Marty29 in reply to DivSin

Hi. It was a long haul. I had sepsis initially in ICU for about 4 weeks, and then caught Covid when in a general ward and was transfered back to ICU. I believe there is only a certain length of time they want to keep you on a ventilator and sedated because of possibly lasting damage. I responded well and came to, and although a bit confused initially the nurse looking after me brought me back to the reality and the delerium passed. My mobility is not 100%, and I get tired easily. I need fresh air to help my breathing indoors. From the sepsis I have an abnormal kidney function, but the diabetes it gave me has gone. I know it seems like everyone's recovery is different, as does it appear the aftercare they receive. I think I was very lucky with a steroid drug trial at my hospital which helped people on a ventilator and also the team turned me on my front to help me breath. My GP has been good with follow up calls and further tests since I have been out of hospital.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

Hi! Yes, I do believe that they have to try to get you off ventilator as soon as possible. Otherwise a lot of complications can follow and one directly relatable is the respiratory system losing drive to breathe on its own. They repeatedly switched off support my last day before shifting me to ward and observe my breathing. Thankfully, after taking painkillers I could breathe easily. All over the Internet, they say that 2 months is like the benchmark time for doctors to keep one ventilated. They try to wean off patients by then. But, if the body is still healing and the bills can be paid very rarely some are ventilated for 6 months which is like tail end of distribution. As in case of Michael Schumacher, who is still in recovery. It depends so much on individuals, I guess. Other thing is waking up. But, from this site, apart from learning I have got a lot of optimism. There are people who made a great recovery after impossibly difficult times.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me! I am glad you're a lot better now.

A lot of people who didn't even get hospitalised are still in recovery and it takes really long to get back to precovid normal. Even at 34, I dont feel like being in the same body a whole month after discharge. I wish you get back to normal self very soon!

Marty29 profile image
Marty29 in reply to DivSin

Thank you, and I wish you all the good luck.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

Thanks a lot! Wish you the same!

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

Have to admit, covid had really eaten up on my flesh. I lost 6 kgs. Again, don't know if it was merely virus or 6 days on vent. Was all bones. My back and ribs hurt crazy after doses of multivitamins is over. The Indian strain we got attacks the body very fast and intensely.

DivSin profile image
DivSin in reply to Marty29

I got quite an idea from your profile. Seems like you've been quite a warrior yourself.What was the longest duration you were on ventilator for? A critical care doctor I asked on another forum told me that everyone on a ventilator has to be put under some degree of sedation, some on light as I was in (I was mostly numb and couldn't feel any pain or poking. I still feel quite numb but better); but some people who fight the ventilator and/or due to underlying causes are required to be deeply sedated and those are the terms used in critical care. They don't seem to use 'medically/drug induced coma' as a term. Also, they try to reduce/alter the dosage of sedatives and paralytics so it's not a constant state.

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