After this strange departure from our previous life, we awoke into a new world of social isolation, which has evoked a myriad of responses. For some this has been a time of enjoyment or relief at being able to step off the hurrly burly, of their previous existence.
Whilst for others it has heightened or created anxiety, depression and will for some be traumatic.
We all want to look out for friends or family members who are suffering, and support them or sign post them to people who can help.
Some of the signs of depression to look out for might be:
- Lack of or increased appetite
- Loss of interest in most things
This is not an exhaustive list but may indicate the need to check out how they are doing.
For those who might be suffering from a traumatic response the signs might be:
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Heightened vigilance
- Intrusive pictures or thoughts
Again this is not an exhaustive list.
For some people post traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D) may emerge after a time. People who are most likely to be at risk are those who have been on the front line of care, or those who have suffered from Covid 19. Post traumatic stress disorder occurs if our processing of trauma “gets stuck” for some reason and the issue does not dissipate after a few weeks . The good news is that this can be helped by some specific psychotherapeutic intervention’s, such as EMDR or trauma focused CBT, to mention a couple. There is no shame in P.T.S.D, we know that trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation and can impact on anyone. Often trauma becomes stuck when we were unable to react in the way our bodies needed to, such as running away from the situation.
The good, good news is that for many people trauma, and other mental health issues, may right themselves after a time.
The other brilliant news is that many people will move into a period of traumatic growth. In taking stock of what has happened people can come out the other side of trauma, more resilient, focused on what is important to them, and with new knowledge of how they want to be in the new world.
Whatever your situation is, do reach out and get the support you need. You are not alone.
If you are worried about the coronavirus then the following links might also be useful for you:
- How to protect your mental health – BBC News
- How to keep safe – BBC News
- Parkinson’s and coronavirus – Parkinson’s UK
- Wellbeing and coronavirus – Mind the mental health charity
- Advice about self isolation – NHS
- 111 coronavirus service – NHS
- Current government advice – Gov.UK
- Coronavirus advice (Sick Pay, Benefits etc) from – Citzens Advice
- Managing healthcare workers’ stress associated with COVID-19 – National Centre for PTSD
- Advice for parents and carers with worries about COVID-19 – Emerging Minds