How to Treat PTSD Caused by COVID-19?
PTSD is a disorder that develops after exposure to an extreme threatening or terrifying event or series.
Most people who are personally affected by the COVID 19 will experience acute stress disorder, many will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but a number of people will have a deeper trauma in the form of lingering anxiety disorders, depressive episodes, neurotic disorders and personality deformities.
Thus, touching upon the topic of mental disorders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we can talk about the “coronavirus syndrome.
“Coronavirus Syndrome” is a mental disorder that is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which statistically affect up to 10% of the affected population.
Already, we observe acute stress reactions against the background of the spread of infection and changes in the usual way of life.
The danger of the PTSD is that it reduces the working capacity of the population precisely when it is extremely important for economic recovery.
Possible complications and personality changes, which will lead to “coronavirus syndrome”, will be associated with a change in the picture of the world in the eyes of a particular person, determining his place in it.
Complications are dangerous not only by a decrease in the quality of life, social functioning of a person, but by lengthening the stress reaction and the formation of persistent disability, the transition of a neurotic disorder to an organic one.
OUR TOP PICK of PTSD ” Help Vitamins“
According to statistics, people who are depressed are deficient in vitamin B12. That is why doctors recommend taking this vitamin daily.
Depression is one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. Chronic disorders, fatigue, and loss of well-being are all due to insufficient vitamin C.
Taking this vitamin can help relieve these symptoms at any age.
With a lack of folic acid, serotonin levels decrease, and it is responsible for a good mood.
What can also be the cause of such a disorder. Folic acid can be taken together with B vitamins. These vitamins are linked and work more effectively together.
Natural and pathological responses to stress
There are normal responses to stress that everyone experiences.
- The first 2-3 days after heavy news or traumatic events, people experience shock, it seems to them that the events are not happening to them.
- Shock is replaced by anger. People are angry with themselves, with loved ones, with circumstances.
- When they fully realize what has happened, people feel desperate.
- Then comes the stage of reintegration, when a person begins to build his life further.
Each of these stages has a different duration, but sometimes people can remain in a state of shock for years.
Against this background, a person loses the meaning of life, relationships, falls into depression. Life can be ruined simply because the patient did not receive adequate support at the time of the traumatic event.
High-risk groups of PTSD include the following:
- Medical workers, especially doctors who provide care to patients with COVID-19 in conditions of increased workload, lack of information about the disease, lack of vaccines and specific supplements, lack of personal protective equipment;
- People of other professions who are forced to continue working during the epidemic, putting themselves at risk of infection;
- Patients who have undergone COVID-19, especially in case of hospitalization with a severe course of the disease;
- People who have lost their loved ones and relatives;
- People who have lost their jobs and suffered financial losses;
- Person who abuses psychoactive substances.
Prevention of PTSD and its treatment
It is important to understand that the most severe stress reactions do not develop at the time of the traumatic event, but much later, after 3-5 months.
For the patient, they may have nothing to do with the difficult events that he experienced. These conditions are called delayed stress responses.
Timely prevention of “coronavirus syndrome” is very important, which consists in pharmacotherapy and psychotherapeutic support.
All experts note that the treatment of PTSD is a difficult and time-consuming task. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in its Standards for Care for Patients with Stress Disorders proposes to be guided by the following principles:
- Support (from health professionals, involving patients in special communication groups, providing information);
- Creating a safe environment;
- Involvement of family and friends in the problem;
- Active interaction with the patient in the process of drawing up a treatment plan;
- Active monitoring of the patient’s condition.
It is very important to initiate timely therapy for persons experiencing acute stress disorder in order to prevent the development of chronic PTSD.
It was found that the success of treatment in the acute period is much higher.
However, during this period, not everyone is aware that they are experiencing problems, or do not consider it necessary to go to a neurologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
When an adjustment disorder occurs, its manifestations can also be regarded by patients as ordinary signs of stress, but in the absence of timely therapy and the presence of persisting external stress factors, the symptoms will gradually worsen.
It is important to remember that when correcting the psych emotional state, it is necessary to help the patient cope with the situation, while maintaining an adequate perception of what is happening so that he can accept and experience this situation and plan his future life based on the changed life situation.
Regular Cases of Patients with PTSD
Patients who called the clinic after discharge say that they began to pay more attention to sensations in the body: pain in the chest and back, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, weakness.
They are afraid that the disease will return. Therefore, they began to regularly measure the temperature, avoid communication with loved ones, and intensified disinfection. These are symptoms of the classic PTSD.
What to do if you saw yourself in this description
See your doctor with symptoms that bother you. If, after the examinations and the conclusion about the state of health, you continue to experience anxiety, then:
- Think about what is normal – to feel anxiety and weakness after a life-threatening illness, hospitalization, in a situation where there is too little reliable information about the disease and its consequences
- Find a person who is in the same situation as you – he will be able to respond correctly and help faster when emotions overwhelm
- Try to identify the positive aspects that have arisen due to the disease