PTSD & COVID-19, what that means for us?
By: Anne Shragal, MA, LCPC, PEL:SC
Owner/Therapist at Breeze Counseling
With the ever changing world of COVID-19, so many of us have struggled with the unknown. I have heard of people feeling a loss of identity and have lost whom they are at their core. Others may feel anxious of the unknown, not knowing if there is an end in sight. For some, the effects of COVID-19 have created a period of trauma, perhaps experiencing PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).
PTSD does not have to occur with just veterans, those that have been in war. Anyone can experience PTSD, as young as six-years-old. PTSD, according the the DSM-V (2013) involved exposure to actual or threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence with intrusive thoughts and reactivity for over a month.
What we are finding is that PTSD is going underdiagnosed or undiagnosed due to the reactivity of the trauma. For example, people may feel symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks (e.g. heart pounding, sweating, dizzy, difficulty breathing, nausea, etc.), and depression.
How does PTSD fit with COVID-19? The events, people, and places surrounding us that have been impacted by COVID-19 may have caused trauma internally, without us even realizing it. For some, COVID-19 could have caused our innerworld to spine out of control, resulting in panic, anxiety, and depression.
If you are experiencing some of these feelings, you may be subject to PTSD. It is highly recommended that you seek professional assistance if you believe you have been mentally and/or emotionally affected by the pandemic. Mental health counselors are here to help process through your thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and behaviors that may seem out of the norm for you.
If you would like to speak to a counselor or receive a PTSD evaluation, Breeze Counseling and myself are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to our office should you need mental health assistance. We are here to create a safe and conventional space to help you process through whatever it is you are struggling with.
We can be reached at (630) 506-1491, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling your appointment directly online.