Stress and anxiety following a critical care admission

The period of recovery after a critical illness can be very stressful. The degree of stress and how long it lasts for can vary. Stress and anxiety may cause disturbed sleep, lack of physical energy, loss of appetite, anger, depression and problems with family relationships. 

One of the problems I experienced was anxiety. Everything had changed. If the phone rang I panicked, if the doorbell rang I panicked. I could not seem to make sense on anything. Although I still get some of these feelings I now know what they are happening and I try not to give myself too hard a time.

Recovering critical care patient

Recovering from a stressful situation takes time. It may seem as if you are not making any progress. Keeping a diary or record of your thoughts and feelings may be helpful. If at the end of a week you can look back and say that overall things were better than the previous week, then you are making progress. However if you feel that you are making no progress you may wish to seek further advice, through your GP, the critical care follow-up clinic or the ICU steps charity.