Psychological therapy can help you overcome the long-term effects of COVID-19 on your mind and body!
Enhancing Your Mind & Body Wellness – Your Best Asset Whilst Undergoing Psychological Therapy After COVID!
• Have you had COVID-19, and are you struggling to overcome its effects on your mind?
• Did this virus negatively impact your body and/or mental health?
• Does your mind feel “foggy” or like it’s no longer as sharp and creative as it used to be since you’ve been infected?
• Are you searching for a sense of meaning in this phase of your life, almost as if something has become unclear or lost?
• Are you struggling with unanswered questions or dealing with the grief of losing a loved-one during this pandemic?
• Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, fear or panic, and do you want to find a healthy way of dealing and overcoming these negative emotions?
Do you struggle with the following after-effects of COVID-19?
- Sudden feelings of tiredness
- Muscle soreness
- Cloudy Mind
Research about post-COVID-complications and the cause of these complications were very insightful… but Psychologist – Dr Leonora de Villiers – did not just want to gain knowledge on the subject, but use this knowledge in a practical way to develop a form of therapy to help her patients overcome “post-COVID”
What Happens To The Body
The human brain has many nerves that run throughout the brain to the rest of the body. The Olfactory nerve is one of them.
This nerve is responsible for carrying information of smells from the receptors inside your nose to the Olfactory bulbs that are located underneath the frontal lobes of the brain that receives all the information carried by die Olfactory nerve.
In other words, that is your sense of smell. This is one of the first places COVID-19 effects, as the virus is transmitted through the nose and mouth. Seeing as 80% of what we taste is derived from what we smell, that is why one of the first symptoms of COVID-19 is the loss of taste and smell. (Gustation and Olfaction)
The Olfactory bulbs are very close to the Hippocampus, the part of the brain that participates in short-term memory. It is believed that, that is the reason for impaired cognitive ability in patients that have the virus.
There are other parts of the brain that are also affected by the virus…The hypothalamus is one of them. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the body’s endocrine system – the glands in the body that releases hormones – and is highly affected by COVID-19.
When you have COVID, one of the symptoms are congestion and a runny nose. This is because your nose and sinuses are under attack by bacteria because of this infection, which makes your body (endocrine system) to release a chemical called histamine.
Histamine is a chemical that inflames the membranes of your nose and causes them to produce more mucus that runs out of your nose and/or down your throat into your lungs and causes congestion. This is part of the body’s fight or flight response that is controlled by the amygdala and hypothalamus. Your body sends a signal through the sympathetic nervous system through to the central nervous system to notify your brain that it (the body) is under attack by the virus. This signal goes to the amygdala first then the amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus and then the hypothalamus does the rest of the work.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that processes emotion. The amygdala is right in front of the hippocampus. Thus, the amygdala is also affected by COVID-19. That is why some patients that have had COVID may now suffer from depression as a long-term effect of the virus.
When the virus enters the body, your body starts fighting against it by releasing cytokine. Doctors call this a cytokine storm.
This helps your immune system to fight against the virus. It is at this stage where your blood gets thinner to deliver the cytokine to all parts of the body. The right amount of cytokine will give your immune system a boost, but if the body produces too much of it, then it could lead to organ damage or even death (in extreme cases).
Physiologically speaking, there is then a “war” going on within of your body and the cytokine storm is causing your body to allow toxins to build up and also affect your kidneys.
Patients with COVID-19 and who’s had it, also has problems with their deep limbic system. The deep limbic system can be described as the “data-basis”, along with the deep temporal lobes.
It involves the storing of highly charged emotional memories, the positive- and the negative ones. This structure also affects your drive and motivation. It helps you get through the day. Overactivity in this area is associated with a depressed mood and a lack of motivation. This is likely to be caused because of social isolation (you can’t see your friends and family, because you are sick). This can lead to depression and/or feeling anxious.
What Leonora can do to help
During post-COVID therapy, the patient and their unique needs are addressed to ensure that they have better quality of life after therapy. Whilst every person has a different experience of what they went through and experienced COVID, physiologically and psychologically, it is all taken into account during the therapeutic proses.
- Identifying personal stress, the symptoms thereof and the management of stress is essential to overcome the “internal war” within your body and to calm it down.
- The Amygdala must be taught to manage daily stress, to process setbacks, handle tough times and redefine what happiness is to you. An Emotional Intelligence (EQ) session is part of the therapeutic process and will develop your emotional responses and processing of situations to make you ready for any storm you might face.
- Right-brain, creative problem-solving is essential for day-to-day survival.
- The brain’s ability to remember, concentrate and to be “sharp” is stimulated.
- If someone close to you, for example: a partner, child, friend and/or colleague has passed away during this pandemic, then it is also important to deal with the grief you feel.
- Organs like the lungs must be strengthened to ensure better oxygen circulation throughout the body and to lower the feeling of anxiousness. Specific techniques and guidelines, catered to the lifestyle of the patient, will be discussed during therapy.
“a healthy body is home to a healthy mind”
Part of the therapy (if required) will be to share knowledge and give guidelines on a balanced diet according to your blood group. The patient will be encouraged to help their body by decreasing the amount of toxins they expose themselves to, and so doing relieve the pressure put on their organs like the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Dr Leonora de Villiers can help you!
You have a lot to offer, and you mean so much to a lot of people. Allow yourself this learning-opportunity and invest in a high-quality future. Overcome the psychological effects of COVID-19, and stop being the victim… start being the SURVIVOR!
For more information about this learning experience and therapy, contact:
Dr Leonora de Villiers. 082 497 3765