For all of us, the last few years have been tremendously difficult. Life has been a relentless rollercoaster of stress and worry, from concerns about health and safety to dealing with the death or illness of friends and relatives, managing financial challenges due to job loss, or having to constantly adjust for school closures and changes in childcare. Because of all the difficulties, some individuals may even be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When trauma strikes, your body typically goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode; however, Stephanie Stathas, a licenced professional counsellor with Thriveworks who specialises in treating trauma, explained that with COVID, the threat is invisible. Over the last years, Stathas has witnessed a significant increase in the number of persons seeking therapy, many of whom are coping with trauma-related symptoms like anxiety, sadness, irritability, and sleep problems.
PTSD Symptoms Might Result From Constant Stress.
Although it occasionally occurs months or years after a stressful experience, PTSD often manifests in the weeks that follow. Hypervigilance, emotional avoidance or numbness, flashbacks, nightmares, anger, anxiety, melancholy, and physical symptoms like headaches, vertigo, or stomachaches are just a few of the symptoms.
People can also acquire the disease after repeatedly being exposed to traumatic or stressful experiences, such as surviving a vehicle accident or severe assault. Complex PTSD, which includes symptoms comparable to PTSD but can also include feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness; a decreased ability to regulate emotions; and problems establishing and sustaining healthy relationships, can result if the traumatic experiences continued without an opportunity for escape. Complex PTSD is caused by the accumulation of numerous experiences, rather than simply one single trauma, according to Stathas.
People who experienced prior similar, prolonged periods of abuse, were in abusive relationships as adults, or who grew up in abusive circumstances frequently acquire complex PTSD. of stress that they couldn’t get away from.
How Widespread The Pandemic Is, People Frequently Have Symptoms As A Result Of Constant Stress?
The pandemic, however, is a distinct stressor that will have its own pattern of trauma-related symptoms, as scientists are beginning to point out. The term “COVID Stress Syndrome,” which includes anxiety about contracting the disease, anxiety about the pandemic’s financial effects, anxiety about others who might be infected, compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking, and other stress symptoms connected to the pandemic, has already been coined by some experts.
As Stathas notes, the previous several years have been tremendously stressful because of the unpredictability and uncertainty. “That simply goes, all of those changes, all the time. It’s challenging to enter those states of helplessness and helplessness against something, Stathas remarked. “Even just feeling in control of anything can make us feel better, but lasting more than two years without it is worrisome,” she says.
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What To Do If You’re Having PTSD Symptoms?
It’s crucial to seek help as soon as possible if the stressors of recent years have gotten to the point that they are negatively affecting your personal relationships, your physical health and well-being, or your general mental condition.
Look at what you haven’t handled or what isn’t resolved whenever it catches up to you and you don’t understand why, Stathas said. It will eventually catch up. I frequently observe that.
It is advisable to seek out a trauma specialist as there are numerous treatment modalities available. Cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive processing therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy are some of the more popular forms of treatment for PTSD.
One type may function better than another depending on your preferences. Many therapists have training in a variety of styles, and they may modify techniques from each type to meet your needs. Therapy is completely acceptable, according to Stathas. It’s the same as visiting a doctor to take care of your medical needs. Both physical and mental wellness are significant.
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