Psychologist explains COVID-19 guilt, advises talking about it

Updated: Dec. 7, 2020 at 9:57 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - For those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, talking about it isn’t always easy.

Psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says that guilt can be good in some ways, but you shouldn’t hide a positive test result.

“So much of it has to do with how you contracted it, and that’s really where there’s clearly a stigma around the condition itself,” says Dr. Klapow.

The risk of spreading COVID without even knowing you have it can also weigh on people who later learn they infected people they care about.

“Yes, if you get your family sick, there’s an incredible amount of guilt, and it’s a different kind of guilt than somebody who has maybe been riskier in their behaviors,” said Klapow.

There are those who may not have been taking safety precautions and later realize that was a mistake.

“Some of that guilt is appropriate and hopefully can drive more healthy behaviors,” he explained.

He hopes people take a step back before casting judgement in any direction.

“The more you can realize the person sitting across from you, a person you don’t know, is under their own amount of pressure, is incredibly important,” said Dr. Klapow.

He encourages people to be open and talk about their diagnosis - not only to protect others, but to encourage safety measures.

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