90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

AdventHealth Doctors say PTSD, Survivor’s Guilt Common Among Patients Who Have Recovered From COVID-19

Photo: Anthony Tran

COVID-19 survivors, including COVID long-haulers, might be suffering from PTSD and other mental health concerns after recovery. That’s according to doctors at AdventHealth.

AdventHealth Lung Transplant Medical Director Dr. Cynthia Gries has treated COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic.

Gries says it’s common for her to see symptoms of PTSD in her patients after they recover. 

She says one young man who was on a ventilator and was partially paralyzed for weeks as a result, even expressed feelings of survivor’s guilt.

“But the thing that really struck me when we were in the office together was his feeling of survivor guilt, that why was he that lucky to survive where other people haven’t.”

Gries says it’s not surprising as many of these patients have experienced trauma during diagnosis and treatment. 

“The general population knows that oh my goodness you get COVID, there’s a good chance you might die from it. So once someone gets it that initial fear is going to be there. I think also when they get hospitalized, if they were to get hospitalized they’re not allowed to see their loved ones.”

She says anyone experiencing symptoms like a change in sleeping or eating patterns, feelings of helplessness or general apathy to favorite hobbies or activities should talk to their doctor.

“The thing that I’d always tell my patients after they explain that these were the symptoms they’re feeling, is just let them know this is normal. Like if you weren’t experiencing these things there’d be something wrong with you because what you’ve gone through is very traumatic.”

A study in Lancet Psychiatry Journal found 1 in 3 COVID-19 survivors will suffer from mental health problems within six months of their initial diagnosis.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »