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Common psychological issues

In this section, we've provided some basic information and advice on the common psychological and emotional issues that many patients face after getting home. These include feeling anxious, low or irritable, having flashbacks, mood swings, poor concentration and problems sleeping. Worrying about money can also be a real concern. Not everyone will face these issues, and some may find them more troublesome than others.We've provided some general advice which we hope you find useful.

It's important to remember that, for some people, psychological or emotional problems arise late in the recovery process, often once they returned to normal. This can be quite difficult for a number of reasons. Some people hide or feel guilty about these issues when they feel that their family has already been through enough and they want to appear strong for everyone else. It's never too late or too difficult to get the help you need.




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Web Link: Alcohol and recovery: where to get help

Alcohol is a major health issue in the UK.Research has shown that around a quarter of admissions to Intensive Care are alcohol related.If you're worried about how much you or someone you care about is drinking,there is plenty of help available. This link will take you to the Alcoholics Anonymous website.They hold groups all over the UK and have a number of useful resources on their website, including other peoples' stories and easy to read literature that you can download for free.

Web Link: Breathing Space: help with anxiety, depression and feeling low

This link will take you to the Breathing Space website.They offer free, confidential advice and support over the phone, to people who are feeling anxious, depressed or low.

Web Link: Clear your head (website)

This link will take you to the Clear Your Head website, which was developed by the Scottish Government in response to COVID-19. On it, you'll find a wealth of useful hints and tips on keeping active (which is great for your mental health and well-being), supporting eachother, looking after yourself, feeling calmer, and creating routine. There are also some excellent links to Scottish mental health organisations, many of which provide free resources, regardless of where you live in the...

Article: Cognitive impairment: what is it?

What is cognitive impairment? Cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering things, learning new things, concentrating, solving problems or making decisions that affect their everyday life. This might include things like having difficulty planning or carrying out everyday tasks such as following a recipe, doing your shopping, managing money or driving. It can be a common or normal part of getting older. Is it common after Intensive Care? Cognitive...

External Video: Common issues after getting home

Video length: 22:30 (Watch now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to watch later) In this video, Anne talks about her role as a follow up nurse at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. She sees patients after they've been discharged from hospital and talks about the common issues patients and families face during this time.

Web Link: Common psychological issues: self-help guides

This link will take you to NHS Tyne and Wear's stock of free self-help leaflets, which you can download or print off. Not all of them may be relevant, but they have leaflets on anxiety, bereavement, depression and low mood, health anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress, sleeeping problems and stress.

Article: Feeling anxious

Is it common to feel anxious after Intensive Care? It's very common (and completely understandable) to feel anxious or uptight after Intensive Care. Research suggests that up to 4 in 10 Intensive Care patients suffer from anxiety at some point. Why am I so anxious? Some patients remember little of their time in Intensive Care, or their memories might be "jumbled" in amongst some strange but very real and vivid dreams, such that it's difficult to make...

Article: Feeling low or sad

Is it common to feel low or depressed after Intensive Care? It's very common and completely understandable to feel low or depressed after being in Intensive Care. Research suggests that up to a third of Intensive Care patients suffer from depression at some point. Why do I feel so low? If you've suffered from depression in the past, it's more likely that you may do so again, but this is not always the case.There are a great many reasons why you might feel low.Being...

Article: Flashbacks

What are flashbacks? Flashbacks are vivid and frightening memories.They can be intrusive, which means that they pop into your mind completely out of nowhere (or are sometimes brought about by something that reminds you of a particular event, even if it was really a dream or hallucination) and can make you feel like you're reliving a particular experience. You may feel like you have little or no control over them. Is it common to have flashbacks? Patients often...

Web Link: Flashbacks: a short video to help you deal with them

This link will take you to a short video on dealing with flashbacks and anxiety after ICU. It was developed by Dr Christina Jones, a leading UK researcher on post-ICU recovery and psychotherapist. It's just over 3 minutes long, and we hope you find it helpful.