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  • The Current UMSL

The Psychology Behind Life: How a Positive Covid-19 Test Effects Your Mind

Picture this: You wake up one day and you have a tingle in your throat. You think it might be your allergies acting up, so you take a pill and go about your business. The next day that tingle turns into a cough. You take more medicine and think to yourself, “I probably need to get more rest and drink some orange juice. I’ll be fine.” Then, without warning, you lose your sense of taste and smell. Now you’re a little concerned since you know that loss of smell and taste are symptoms of Covid-19. After patiently waiting for your test results, they tell you your worse fears are true: you have Covid-19. Your next question is: what next? The doctor or pharmacy you got your test results from explains what to do going further but what about seeking treatment for your mind?

For pretty much all human life, we have sought treatment for many different illnesses, but we always seem to put treating our minds on the back burner. No matter what the illness that we have been diagnosed with is, your mind will be the most effected organ. Let’s go back to our example of the positive Covid-19 test. After being told to stay at home, drink a lot of water, and get some rest, your mind may start to wonder, “I was so cautious. Where did I get it from? Who did I get it from? Who have I infected? How long have I had it?” Then comes to painstaking task of telling everyone you’ve been around to also get tested and that may be worse than receiving the results. You may start to think it’s your fault and that you’re responsible for contracting it and/or giving it to others.

The ultimate question is: what can we do about our mental health after receiving a positive Covid-19 test? The answer is to reach out to your counselor or find one if you don’t have one. When recovering from a serious illness, our mental health is just as important as the rest of our bodies. Also reaching out to your support system is crucial. Having friends and family who care about you and want to see you feeling better physically and mentally will make you recover faster. The last thing to do is get your mind off the negative and focus on the positive. Is there some work around the house you’ve been meaning to do? Now you have your chance to do it. The more you see this as a positive situation, the faster you’ll recover and feel better. Being positive will also help build resilience and character.

UMSL Counseling and Social Advocacy Center: 314-516-4613


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