'Covid-19 patients need unequivocal support,' says psychologist

Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

Psychologist Dr Penelope Mlangeni says stigma is a challenge to any circumstance.

"Diagnosis is not received the same way by patients and sometimes lack of support and visits can make one feel lonely and lead to depression," she said.

Mlangeni said positive messages could have an impact on giving hope to someone in isolation.

"People need to understand that having Covid-19 does not mean you're dying or is the end of your life. There's life after isolation and family members need to make patients look forward to completing the programme.

"Someone might be rejoicing that you're infected, but you need to overcome that by proving them wrong.

"Social bullying can happen, but when you have the support of your loved ones you stay positive in thinking."

"The last thing a person needs when they are dealing with shock is questions and negative comments that they cannot answer to."

Mlangeni said families need to dig deeper and find out what was causing frustration in patients.

"The best thing to do is to get counselling immediately. Pastoral counselling is also good as long as the individual can also get an ear to listen if services of a psychologist are unavailable at that time."

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