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Hadleigh mum shares experience of long Covid and how NHS talking therapy service helped her with symptoms of anxiety





Don't struggle in silence: That is the message from a Suffolk mum whose mental health deteriorated after she was diagnosed with long Covid.

Shelley, 48, of Hadleigh, started struggling with mental ill health after she had Covid during lockdown in 2020 and then developed long Covid.

She went from being able to exercise and go to work daily to being unable to walk up the stairs.

Shelley from Hadleigh said her life changed after she was diagnosed with long Covid. Picture: Submitted
Shelley from Hadleigh said her life changed after she was diagnosed with long Covid. Picture: Submitted

After her diagnosis Shelley was left feeling overwhelmed, anxious and worried about how long her symptoms would last.

As a result she had to reduce her hours at work and found it tricky to look after her young family.

Shelley, who had never experienced mental ill health before, gradually began to realise something was not right.

Shelley reached out to her GP for help. Picture: Submitted
Shelley reached out to her GP for help. Picture: Submitted

Though her family were ‘extremely supportive’, she said: “I felt like a burden, there were things I couldn’t join in with.

“Family walks had to be very short, I went to bed very early every evening so my quality time with them was compromised.

“When I realised it was going to be a long-term illness and journey to recovery I began to feel frustrated there were so many things I couldn’t do anymore.”

This included things Shelley loved, including exercise and reading, which had previously helped with her mental wellbeing.

Shelley, who told her GP about how she was feeling and was referred to Suffolk Wellbeing, said: “I really wanted to get better physically and emotionally and feel like myself again.”

She was enrolled on six-week cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) small group therapy course with others who had long-term illnesses, or also had long Covid.

Shelley said: “It felt like a light had been turned on. During the sessions it made sense and it felt like we were a team in our online classes.”

As she completed the course Shelley felt more positive, like she was back in control and she could see ways to get better. She realised she could cope.

Now she recommends talking therapy, like CBT, to others, while she has kept in touch with those she met on her course.

Shelley said: “Don't struggle in silence, help is out there.

“You can overcome low feelings with some support, guidance and encouragement.”

Anyone struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety can seek help through the NHS talking therapies service.

You can be referred by your GP or you can refer yourself online at nhs.uk/talk.