Here’s what a bad Covid-19 dose is like. No wonder survivors get ...

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Here’s what a bad Covid-19 dose is like. No wonder survivors get PTSD

Hair-loss and insomnia are but a few things Covid-19 survivors are facing in the fight for their mental health

Miranda Levy

It takes Tracy a long time to fall asleep at night. She has constant flashbacks. First, there’s the memory of a woman’s body bouncing on a trauma-unit bed from the shock of a failed defibrillation attempt, while Tracy, desperately ill herself, watched from a wheelchair. Then there’s an image of the cheerful 54-year-old accountant who said goodnight and wasn’t there the next morning. Or of Tracy herself being asked whether she had any last messages for her family because she was so ill and might not survive the latest intervention.

Tracy, a 59-year-old British property developer, doesn’t want her surname used. Nor does she want to be photographed. She refuses to be known as “the Covid lady” among her wide circle of acquaintances. It’s also because “80%” of her hair has fallen out. “It’s a little-spoken-of side-effect of Covid-19,” she says. “The stress, the shock of surviving such a traumatic event.”

Two weeks ago, Tracy received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to research released last week by the UK’s Covid Trauma Response Working Group, one in three survivors of “severe Covid-19" have PTSD and 30% of the rest have anxiety or depression...

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