A Time For Healing From PTSD
For starters, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) refers to mental health problems
triggered by a traumatic event, causing severe anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks.
When you undergo a severe life experience such as the death of a spouse/child,
substantial disability, serious illness, loss of a home/job, etc., you’ll get traumatized
beyond what you can bear psychologically. The same may happen when you lose a close
friend or when you survive a terror attack.
Most of what is mentioned above precisely fits what has been going on in 2020, thanks
to the coronavirus pandemic. Most people have lost their jobs, homes, loved ones, and
close friends. In extreme conditions, this has led to PTSD in those who have been
As you might have known, PTSD can affect the spiritual, physical, relational, emotional,
and social interactions of the victims. For PTSD to occur, the victim must have faced a
traumatic situation that involves aspects like fear of death, hearing about death, or
Finding a solution to PTSD relies on understanding its cause. It also helps to know how
trauma works in individuals, causing emotional dysregulation, fluctuating emotional
states, intrusive memories, and scary flashbacks.
Back to COVID-19. There’s no doubt that this pandemic has presented societal division,
fear, economic difficulties, loss of livelihood, lingering symptoms, illnesses,and death.
The pandemic is still with us, and no one in the world can claim that he/she has not been
affected in one way or the other. Even if you have not contracted the virus, there’s that
lingering fear that you (or your loved ones) might catch it. The fear is accompanied by
fears of “what if it happens.”
Americans have suffered a great deal since the outbreak of coronavirus. The country is
divided, with people now going against each other to survive. There are losses,
confusion, and despair that one person can’t handle.
The losses caused by COVID-19 aren’t only at the personal level. These are collective
losses that apply to families, communities, countries, and the world at large. People in
leadership positions are feeling the heat.
We all remember that Germany’s finance minister Thomas Schaefer committed suicide
in March 2020, apparently because he got deeply worried about how he would cope
following the economic meltdown caused by COVID-19. Many similar deaths from all
over the world go unreported.
Certainly, coronavirus has caused serious challenges as far as mental health is
concerned, and in extreme cases, it has caused PTSD.
Is there a remedy?
Coronavirus made people move from the known (families, jobs, lives, etc. As they were
before coronavirus) to the unknown, something many now refer to as the “new
normal”. This new normal has lots of uncertainties, and many people try to rebuild their
lives. Some who cannot cope have resorted to substance abuse, while others suffer
serious depression in silence.
This is the time people should reach each other and provide social and psychological
support. Each individual should do as much or as little as he/she can to make the next
person feel comfortable. This is the time social welfare groups should be more active
than ever. People should come together and share their experiences rather than staying
Raquel Soteldo RP(Q), MA, ABA, PMP, CCC