The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving a wake of devastation in its path. This invisible enemy has created many challenges that we have had to navigate, from the fear of being infected and worrying about our loved ones’ safety to the unprecedented unemployment rates and financial insecurity.
With all there is to worry about, the potential for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if probably furthest from people’s minds. Experts, however, are concerned that this could be a reality. After the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, healthcare workers and those who had to self-quarantine exhibited symptoms of PTSD.
PTSD is most commonly associated with soldiers returning from war. PTSD, however is actually a chronic psychiatric disorder that can occur in anyone who has been exposed to a traumatic event. When it comes to COVID-19, a key factor in whether someone will develop this long-lasting stress disorder will be their emotional response to the pandemic itself.
By developing coping mechanisms to handle stress, you can reduce your chances of developing PTSD. Here are a few tips for things you can do to promote good emotional health:
- Try not to think about worst-case scenarios and focus on the positives
- Exercise whenever possible and especially try to get outside
- Practice mindfulness and meditation to help avoid excess worry
- Keep a journal to allow you to express your feelings and be more aware of your thoughts
- Connect with family and friends over the phone or through video chat
- Practice good sleep habits including getting enough sleep
It may be normal during this time to experience some symptoms of PTSD. It is when these symptoms persist and begin to interfere with your daily life that you should be concerned. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Having intrusive thoughts like nightmares or upsetting memories and flashbacks
- Feeling irritable and stressed out
- Having trouble sleeping
- Becoming fearful of the world
- Being hyper-vigilant, startling easily, being jumpy
If you do experience symptoms of PTSD that persist, it is important to seek help. A mental health professional will be able to diagnose you and begin a proper treatment plan. For PTSD this can mean a combination of psychotherapy, certain medications, and potentially ketamine infusions. Ketamine infusions, specifically, have been known to not only help existing symptoms of PTSD, but could potentially prevent the development of PTSD all together.
Contact Ketamine Greater Boston
Our Boston area ketamine clinic is happy to offer a free consultation to new patients interested in learning more about ketamine for PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Complete the brief form below to request your consultation and get started on the journey towards health and well-being.