What should I expect now that I have left hospital?
It is normal to experience a range of strong physical feelings and emotions after being in hospital. These can range from a sense of relief and joy to worry and concern.
These are normal reactions and most commonly will disappear after several weeks as you continue to recover.
Why does this happen?
Being in hospital and being unwell can activate our body’s sense of threat and our brain’s natural survival system can become activated.
The parts of our brains that respond to threat can become overactive. This is why we can feel frightened and on edge, even some time after the event. This can impact on how we feel in our bodies, mind and our behaviour.
It takes time for the sense of threat to subside.
How you may feel emotionally
- In a state of shock
- Jumpy or on edge
- Low in mood
- Emotionally numb
- Distant from reality
- Guilty, blaming yourself
- Angry or irritable
- Upset more easily
- Racing thoughts
How you may feel in your body
- Palpitations (rapid heartbeat)
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Intrusive images and ‘flashbacks’
- Poor concentration and memory
- Problems sleeping including nightmares
Things you may do
- Begin to withdraw from other people
- Not wanting to go outside
- Have fleeting thoughts of harming yourself or others
When should I start feeling better?
For most people these symptoms will disappear over time but for some, symptoms may not develop until sometime after the event.
What can I do to help myself?
- Try not to over-rely on avoiding difficult thoughts and feelings associated with
- Stay connected with people who will support you. Don’t avoid people you trust. Tell them what you need.
- Establish a routine as much as possible.
How do I support someone I know?
Although you might not be able to be physically present, call and be available to them in any way possible.
To their feelings but don’t ask for details of what happened.
Don’t assume what they need or offer advice as they may feel differently.
Offer practical help in any way.
Further information for carers can be found on the carers together website
Where can I find more information?
It’s been over a month and I am not feeling better what should I do?
If you find you have been struggling for longer than a month or you notice your mood has worsened, contact your GP surgery to discuss support available.
Resources specific to your condition:
If you are 18 years or over you can access NHS psychological therapies services. (IAPT) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.
Where can I find support in a crisis?
Help is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year
If you are struggling right now and just simply want someone to talk to
The Samaritans offer a FREE 24 hour confidential telephone Helpline.
If you feel you are in crisis and worry you are unable to keep yourself safe there is help available.
You can contact your GP, or local mental health crisis team:
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
Ring 999 if you are worried that yourself or somebody else is in danger
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.