This past year has been a tumultuous one, which can lead to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). We’ve seen a lot of loss, isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty. We’ve seen many communities come together and also witnessed a lot of political strife. Everyone has responded differently to this experience, and there has been a wide-ranging impact on mental health. Many continue to experience symptoms long after the restrictions are lifted and life resumes to pre-COVID times.

Just a few examples of people who’ve experienced a lot of stress and trauma during the pandemic, which could lead to PTSD are:

  • Healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients

  • People who have had COVID and are still suffering from symptoms

  • People who have lost loved ones

  • People who are at higher risk for complications from COVID

  • People who lost their job and are struggling financially

ptsd

Is it PTSD or something else?

To determine if you have PTSD, you need to be diagnosed by a professional therapist or clinician. Many people have milder forms of PTSD which don’t typically affect their daily life. However, severe cases can impede a person’s ability to perform the most basic day-to-day activities.

Symptoms of PTSD usually develop soon after experiencing a traumatic event, although sometimes they can take a few months to appear. They can include:

  • Intrusive memories, such as reliving an experience or having nightmares

  • Avoidance of places that may trigger a memory of a traumatic event

  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.

Even if you’re not experiencing classic symptoms of PTSD, if you’re constantly anxious or depressed and find yourself not wanting to do anything, that’s a clear sign that you need to seek treatment before your symptoms worsen.

Who is at risk of developing PTSD?

No one is immune from post-traumatic stress disorder, but some factors could put you at higher risk, such as

  • Experiencing or witnessing lasting trauma such as childhood abuse or domestic violence

  • Having a career that increases your chance of exposure to traumatic events, such as first responders or military personnel

  • A personal or family history of other mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression

  • Having a substance use disorder, such as excessive alcohol or drug use

  • Not having a stable support system of friends and family

Coping with PTSD symptoms

After experiencing trauma, many people have PTSD-like symptoms such as fear, anxiety, guilt, and depression- all of which are common reactions to trauma. However, not all will develop long-term PTSD.

Being proactive and seeking treatment and support can prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into full-blown PTSD. Whether it be from family, friends, or a professional, support from others may also help prevent people from turning to unhealthy coping methods such as alcohol or drugs.

If you’re having symptoms of PTSD, call Serene Health at 844-737-3638 or visit us at www.serenehealth.com to schedule an appointment. If you’re looking for online therapy, we have late evening and weekend appointments available via our unique telehealth app so that you can speak to a therapist from the comfort of your own home.