How a positive COVID-19 test impacts your mental health

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Odessa, TEXAS (Big 2/Fox 24) – With the spread of Coronavirus, chances are that you may have had it yourself, or know somebody who has had it.  For this week’s segment of Centers Solutions: COVID Edition, Melanie Saiz and Kristi Edwards explain how a positive COVID-19 test can impact your mental health. 

“I think you have that fear of people looking at you like you’ve done something wrong to get it. So that’s kind of the feeling of being ostracized. It’s the shame of the contraction, it’s like ‘What did I do wrong? I thought I was, I washed my hands, I socially distanced. I wore a mask, so how did that happen to me?’ Then you have guilt and worry over having exposed someone,” says Centers Executive Director Kristi Edwards.

It’s hard to have a fear of the unknown, like what could happen to you or somebody you love. It’s also hard to deal with the isolation. It can have a serious impact on your health on top of the COVID-19 diagnosis. 

 ” So there’s you know, the loneliness that comes with being isolated. That can lead to depression. Isolation affects your cognition, your attention, your executive functioning, it could increase the chances of developing dementia. That’s proven not even just in our elderly patients, it’s across the board,” says Edwards.  

It’s key to avoid social isolation, while keeping everybody safe. Staying in contact with other people can help lower stress levels, boost your immune system, and help your memory and cognitive skills. 

 “We know that we want to be there for people when they’re in the hospital, be there for support. Now some of that has been taken away.  A lot of that connectedness, that social connectedness,  is what helps us to have a good boost in our physical and mental health. So it’s important to- as much as you possibly can- for those of us who have a family member or friend- to be there by phone, to be there as much as we can, by Zoom or Facetime. Whatever we can do, just to check in. Even if it’s a letter.” Centers Marketing & Development Director Melanie Saiz.

If you need to reach out to somebody about your COVID-19 diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a loved one, Edwards and Saiz say don’t hesitate to reach out to Centers.  For more information about the mental health impact of a Coronavirus diagnosis, you can listen to the Centers podcast

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