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Post War vs. Post Corona: Will we face similar PTSD affects from the traumatic pandemic experience?

Will the frontline workers and other people like us face PTSD post-pandemic? Here's how the Corona outbreak has taken a toll
Will the frontline workers and other people like us face PTSD post-pandemic? Here’s how the Corona outbreak has taken a toll on our mental health.

This is the first time that our generation has witnessed a historical event occurring at a global level that has enforced self-isolation via stringent lockdown measures. Corona, regarded as the biggest health emergency, has not only affected the physical but has also disturbed the mental health of both frontline workers and the civilians locked inside their rooms.

We as individuals have become so accustomed to living a mundane life full of satisfying our mental desires via validation that today when our sole motive in life revolves around surviving the pandemic, we feel burdened with the mental stress weighing us down. For frontline workers, especially the ones working in the healthcare industry, the healthcare emergency has caused heightened levels of stress, worry, and anxiety.

Multiple reasons lead to stress during Corona times. Some do not have enough savings to feed their family while there are others stranded in a different country or state, away from their homes, with nowhere to sleep, no food to eat, and no money to leave. To help people tackle these difficulties, organizations have stepped up to provide all with ration and food required to survive during these crucial times.

Post-traumatic stress disorder: Post War & Post COVID-19

While it is too early to predict the full impact on our long-term mental well being, surveys (1) indicate that a significant chunk of the population feel their mental health is worsening. It is common to experience intense flashbacks, irritability, nightmares, anger, and fear during a traumatic event like this pandemic.

The CNBC (2) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic could have a similar impact on our mental health as for those who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after the war. PTSD is a chronic disorder that occurs in people who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event like the sudden death of a loved one, serious accident, cases of assault, etc.

Individuals struggling with prevailing mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or a prior history of PTSD are at an increased risk of developing conditions due to the ongoing distress. Moreover, while being in a state of social isolation, individuals tend to get involved in self-hating and panic led intra-communication, causing more harm than good to your mental stability.

Some of the symptoms that can serve as early warning signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include:

  • Drastic changes in the thinking process
  • Developing a pessimistic outlook towards life
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Dwelling in unhealthy coping mechanisms

However, having an intense or emotional reaction to a traumatic event like the COVID-19 pandemic is normal, as symptoms tend to recover over time naturally. But there are times when the symptoms only get worse, which is when one must seek medical help from professionals.

Bring mental peace

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions and believe that you’re losing control, it’s high time you reach out to a medical professional immediately. There are multiple organizations and individuals holding expertise that are providing free counseling and therapy sessions for troubled individuals during this pandemic. Do not be afraid to dial the number and share your thoughts.

Nonetheless, there are specific measures that you can take to tackle your anxious thoughts while at home. While yoga, exercise, meditation, and reading are some of the cliched habits that can help you, there is something that, in my opinion, can alter your stress levels drastically.

Switch off the news! Yes, our media consumption has multiplied during this time, which has led us to read and viewing news and information about Corona that’s bringing panic all around. If there’s something that triggers you, shut that news off and try watching soothing and fictional channels to help you build your mental peace.