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Common psychological issues

In this section, we've provided some general information and advice on the psychological issues patients commonly face during the ward stage of recovery. These include things like not knowing what happened to you, having strange or frightening dreams, problems with sleeping or concentration, and feeling anxious or low. Everyone is different. You may or may not experience these issues and they may be more severe or troublesome to some patients than others. Many of these issues will improve over the weeks and months after Intensive Care. We've also included some links to support for money worries during the pandemic, as these can be a real source of stress. 

 

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Web Link: ACAS Employment Advice Website

Worried about your employment rights after a stay in the ICU and during your recovery? The ACAS website is easy to navigate, full of information and will give you the lowdown on your rights as an employee.

Article: Confusion, paranoia or behaving out of character

Is it common to have been confused, paranoid or to have behaved out of character? Yes, it is very common.Just as these things are very common in Intensive Care, patients often experience these symptoms in the first few days following transfer to the ward. You may have felt very confused (not quite knowing where you are or why), you may have felt that others were out to harm you (paranoia) or may have behaved completely out of character by perhaps being a little unreasonable,...

Article: Coping with transfer to the ward

It's not always easy or even possible to prepare patients for transfer out of Intensive Care and onto the general wards.Intensive Care beds are in great demand and it's often impossible to predict when a bed might be needed for someone else.Although we try to avoid it as best we can, this sometimes means that patients are transferred out with little warning. From one to one care to "one of many" Patients often tell us that transfer to the wards can be a bit of...

External Video: George's experience of ward care

In this video, George talks about his experiences of care on the wards after Intensive Care. He also talks about his experiences of discharge planning.

Web Link: Healthtalkonline: Patients' experiences of Intensive Care

Many people find it helpful to hear that other people's experiences are similar to their own. This link will take you to the Healthtalkonlone website and to the section on patients' experiences of Intensive Care. Here, you can watch short videos, listen to voice files and read their interviews.

External Video: ICU support after transfer to the wards

In this video, Trish talks about her role as an ICU Liaison Nurse at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Web Link: Money issues & COVID-19: the Money Advice Service

This link will take you to the UK Money Advice Service website and their advice on a range of money issues during the pandemic.There's a wealth of information to help you find out wht kind of financial support you're entitled to, the furlough scheme, managing debt, managing your bills (include rent and mortgage payments), borrowing and bereavement support. There are also some helpful tools to help you manage your budget, and you can contact one of their trained financial advisers...

Web Link: NHS Videos: Intensive Care and recovery

This link will take you to the NHS video library on Intensive Care. There is a range of short videos on many aspects of ICU and recovery. Topics include: The Critical (or Intensive) Care Unit Children, families & Critical (or Intensive) Care Step down to the ward Physical recovery Common psychological problems Hallucinations Nightmares, dreams & poor sleep Stress & anxiety PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Memory loss Going home Research

Article: Not remembering what happened to you

Once patients are transferred to the wards, they often "come to" and have to begin to make sense of what's happened to them. Not remembering (amnesia) how you ended up in Intensive Care and what happened while you were there is extremely common. Patients sometimes "lose" the few days before ending up in Intensive Care, even though they were comparatively well at that time. Not remembering is likely to be a combination of how ill you were, the nature of your...

Article: Poor concentration

Patients often tell us that they suffer from poor concentration after Intensive Care. You might struggle to read a newspaper or a book, for example, or you might struggle to follow a television programme or film. Patients also tell us that they often lose interest or "can't be bothered" with some of the things they really enjoyed before, such as listening to music or watching football on the television.This is usually temporary and will start to improve as you recover. It...