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Recovering from Covid-19: 'I can't get the images out of my head'

Recovering from Covid-19: 'I can't get the images out of my head'


In India, relentlessly rising case numbers are causing another emergency - serious mental health
problems among Covid-19 patients, writes the BBC's Vikas Pandey. Rajesh Tiwari, 42, has
developed a serious phobia for any screen which is bigger than his mobile phone. He thinks big
screens, especially TV sets and computer monitors, are giant creatures who can attack him.

Mr Tiwari began experiencing hallucinations after a long stay in an intensive care unit. In early
June he had tested positive for coronavirus and he was admitted to a private hospital as his
condition worsened. Five days later he was put on a ventilator.

Mr Tiwari recovered after nearly three weeks in the hospital. But he soon realised that his recovery
was not complete.

"I am better now because I sought treatment, but the first few weeks after my discharge from
the hospital were very difficult," he said in an interview.

Mr Tiwari's family was elated to bring him home, but after a while they realised that everything
was not right with him. One day, he screamed at the TV set and attempted to smash it. The family
had to stop watching TV and nobody was allowed to use laptops at home. Mr Tiwari said he was
struggling to forget the images of monitors constantly beeping and flashing numbers in the ICU.

Amit Sharma and his family had a similar experience. Mr Sharma, 49, spent 18 days in the ICU
and saw people die every day. Young and old, men and women - all kinds of Covid-19 patients
were dying around him.

"One day, two patients around me died and their bodies were there for several hours," he said.
"I just can't get those images out of my head. I still fear Covid might kill me."

Mr Sharma is struggling to forget the traumatic experience. He became very quiet at home after
his recovery, his uncle said. "And whenever he talked, it was always about the patients he had
seen dying in the Covid ward," he said.

Many recovering coronavirus patients in India are experiencing mental health distress, said
Dr Vasant Mundra, a senior psychiatrist at Mumbai's PD Hinduja hospital, particularly those who
were on a ventilator or spent a long time in an ICU.



Follow up on this story. With new stories before anyone else here : pgslot

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