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Long Covid

Coping with the after-effects of Covid-19 can be gruelling. The cycle of recovery and relapse leaves people questioning when they will feel better and get back to normal. Worse, some people might feel depressed if they are not offered support or feel they’re not believed by friends, family or doctors. Therapists can provide the extra support people need during recovery from long Covid.
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How do I know if I have ADHD? Does my child have ADHD?

Many people with ADHD aren't aware they have it. They will be aware however that everyday tasks seem more difficult for them than for others. Typical symptoms are finding it hard to focus, missing deadlines and trouble controlling impulses, ranging from impatience to mood swings and outbursts of anger. Other symptoms include:

  • Trouble multitasking.
  • Excessive activity or restlessness.
  • Poor planning.
  • Hot temper.
  • Trouble coping with stress.

What ADHD is not

The above list may be familiar to most people at different times in their lives. If these symptoms occur only occasionally, they probably don't have ADHD. A doctor usually diagnoses when someone’s symptoms cause problems that stop a person working, finding stable housing, or living normally and safely.

Diagnosis of ADHD in adults is often trickier because the same symptoms also occur in mental health conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders. Many adults with ADHD also have at least one other mental health condition (depression and anxiety are the most common).

At what age do ADHD symptoms appear?

Symptoms usually start before the age of 12 and continue into adulthood.

How long does ADHD last?

ADHD is a lifelong condition, though it often becomes less marked in adulthood. But it can be effectively managed. The first step is to see a doctor and start seeking a diagnosis.

How many people have ADHD?

In the UK, the incidence of ADHD in school-aged children is thought to be between 3 and 5%. In adults it is between 3 and 4%.

What causes ADHD?

We still don’t know for sure. An enormous amount of research is focused on finding the causes of ADHD. Factors that may be involved include:

  • Genetics.
  • Environment.
  • Problems during development.

What are the risk factors for ADHD?

The risk of a person developing ADHD may increase if:

  • Family members suffer from ADHD.
  • During pregnancy the mother smokes, drinks, or uses drugs.
  • A child is premature.

What are the impacts of delayed diagnosis of ADHD?

ADHD has been linked to:

  • Poor school or work performance.
  • Unemployment.
  • Financial problems.
  • Trouble with the police.
  • Alcohol or drug misuse.
  • Unstable relationships.
  • Poor self-esteem.

How is ADHD diagnosed?

Making the diagnosis normally includes:

  • Asking questions about symptoms and family medical history.
  • ADHD tests to measure symptoms.

What are the treatments for ADHD?

ADHD is normally treated through a two-pronged approach:

  • Medication.
  • Therapy.

ADHD medication

Doctors might prescribe stimulants for ADHD – which might seem counterintuitive, but has a strong evidence basis for regulating brain activity.

Some ADHD patients might also benefit from antidepressants or other medication, but in every case a doctor is best placed to advise on what to take.

Therapy for ADHD

Psychotherapy is indicated for people with ADHD but behavioural therapies can also help manage traits that make people with ADHD disorganised, and teach useful skills as well.

Help and information about ADHD

ADHD (NHS Choices)

NHS Choices provides information about the signs, symptoms and treatment for depression.

ADHD Foundation

For people with an ADHD diagnoses, this charity provides resources and advocacy.

Young Minds

Aimed at young people, this profile of ADHD explains what it is, how to seek treatment and mental health concerns for people with ADHD in a clear and straightforward way.

Click here to see practitioners who specialise in

Long Covid

What is 'long Covid'?

'Long Covid' is a broad description of symptoms that persist after a person catches Covid-19 (whether proven or suspected).

The most frequently reported is fatigue. Many patients report a frustrating cycle of relapse and recovery. People report that even when undertaking what seem to be 'small' tasks, they find themselves easily exhausted – often referred to as a 'relapse'. People also report that relapses feel 'like going back to square one', and their capacity to do tasks has to be built back up 'from scratch'. This cycle of effort and exhaustion may be repeated over and over, seemingly without a sense of progress.

Other physical symptoms include:

  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Loss of smell

Long Covid is often likened to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). All four conditions share fatigue as a major symptom.

How does long Covid affect mental health?

Naturally, it's common for people experiencing post-viral symptoms to also report low mood and anxiety. Therapists can help support people with long Covid during these periods, and therapists with experience of working with patients who have chronic or acute health conditions will be particularly well-placed to connect with your experience.

Do I have long Covid?

You do not need to have tested positive for Covid-19 to have had the virus, and anyone who experienced Covid-19 could be at risk of post-viral symptoms.

It is also possible that 'long Covid'-type symptoms are a sign of a different problem.

In particular, more people might experience depression and anxiety symptoms this year because of stressors like lockdown, grief, isolation, remote or insecure work, and a sense of loss.

How long does long Covid last?

Given how new the diagnosis is, there is no prognosis. But in their experience of treating people with other post-viral illnesses, doctors report that recovery can take years or even months. Many people recover fully from post-viral illness.

How many people have long Covid?

Up to 60,000 people in the UK may experience long Covid, according to research published by the Covid-19 Symptom Study last September.

What treatments are there for depression and anxiety with long Covid?

Therapy for patients with long Covid

Psychotherapy is an ideal place to get help and support. Some therapists specialise in working with people who have a chronic health condition like long Covid, and are well-placed to understand the experience of living with a long Covid diagnosis or symptoms.

Medication for depression and anxiety with long Covid

Psychiatrists can prescribe medication for patients who develop depression or anxiety as a result of coping with long Covid symptoms.

Other resources for long Covid

The COVID Symptom Study

A report into a large-scale UK study.

NHS Your COVID Recovery

Self-help resources and information for people recovering from Covid-19.