Back in May, many politicians referred to the pandemic as a war and what we know is that some people who survive war experience post traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. Victims of other traumatic events can also experience PTSD.
Referring to the pandemic as a war would lead us to understand that health care professionals who are essentially fighting the virus in what some may call a front-line battle may be experiencing PTSD.
The symptoms may include; recurring memories of the traumatic event, flashbacks, nightmares and physical or emotional reactions to a memory trigger. People may also experience negative thoughts about themselves or others, emotional numbness or engage in self-destructive behaviors.
One of the complicating factors associated with COVID-19 is that friends and families have to distance themselves from each other which makes coping more difficult.
PTSD can also affect COVID19 patients, especially those were severe symptoms. This can be the result of separation anxiety along with the build-up of symptoms associated with respiratory distress; an uncertain prognosis and inflammation.
Dr. Joe Parks, medical director at the National Council for Behavioral Health, pointed out that people face a higher risk of experiencing PTSD if they have to endure a threat for an extended period of time without the power to change their circumstances or get out of a situation.This is why it is compared to combat, You’re in your foxhole, you’re being shot at, and you have to stay there. Some say
the COVID-19 pandemic was “more difficult than 9/11″ because the terrorist attacks were sudden and immediate while COVID-19 is drawn out, which leaves people fatigued and overwhelmed over a long period of time. According to Dr. Dennis Charney, president of Mount Sanai for Academic Affairs, it is expected that because Health care providers are working at a highly stressful and intense level over a prolonged period of time, it is likely that tens of thousands will suffer post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the pandemic,”
Some hospital systems around the country are providing resilience training and strategies to mitigate symptoms associated with PTSD. However, healthcare workers in nursing homes don’t necessarily have access to such programs.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms that seem related to PTSD, and don’t have access to such services, consult a professional or consider techniques to counteract the feelings of burnout, stress, fatigue and overwhelm.
You can find a course providing a range of useful techniques called Resilience Tool Box Secrets at https:// www.phyllisaymanassociates.com