Long Covid is very far from ‘all in the mind’ – but psychology can still help us treat it | Carmine M Pariante

Long Covid is very far from ‘all in the mind’ – but psychology can still help us treat it | Carmine M Pariante

The Guardian

.

.
.
.

As a specialist in biological communication between the body and brain, I know it can be hard to draw a line between the two

As the UK nears what will hopefully be the end of lockdowns and high death tolls, our doctors and nurses are left to deal with a worrying secondary aspect of the pandemic in the shape of long Covid. There are more than 1 million people with long Covid in the UK alone, amounting to a human and medical emergency, with potentially a huge impact on society and the workforce. A clinical picture is emerging, with many patients reporting similar symptoms including shortness of breath, difficulty in concentration, body aches, persistent fatigue and other symptoms. The illness has been recognised in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Moreover, long Covid has parallels with CFS/ME, a debilitating condition that has similar symptoms.

Unfortunately, in the face of all this suffering, advances in science and clinical care are being jeopardised by an antiquated and unhelpful debate on whether these symptoms are “in the mind”, as if they were a fantasy or a dream. Of course, long Covid and CFS/ME symptoms are not in the mind. No symptoms are. Unfortunately some people with CFS/ME or, more recently long Covid, have been dismissed by health professionals. Some patients might have felt not taken seriously by their doctor while others might have lost the opportunity to benefit from a broader, psychosocial approach.

Continue reading…