Post-COVID Stress Disorder: The Latest Trauma Caused by the Pandemic

75

As the world is facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists and doctors around the world have identified another consequence it brought. They have called it Post-COVID Stress Disorder. Many people have already been affected, and with the resurgence we are currently facing, no doubt many more will.

Who is Suffering from Post-COVID Stress Disorder?

When October 2020 arrived, the world had already witnessed over one million deaths caused by COVID-19. It has added to the number of individuals who died because of a pandemic through history, which is usually considered to be between 300 and 500 million people. But of course, the number of deaths is only one part of the tragedy. Behind that, many are left behind, with important traumatic symptoms. The stress and anxiety that the pandemic has caused will leave scars in many individuals, who will have to rebuild themselves, in different ways.

Whether they are part of the healthcare system (nurses, doctors, administrators, etc.), individuals who lost a family member to the coronavirus, those who survived it but are left with important health problems or even the people in power and journalists who had access to privileged information; each of them has to live with stress disorder today. As in everything related to stress, these people have difficulty breathing right, crushed by the weight of what they have (had) to live. Their therapy will be long, and they’ll have to learn breathing exercises for stress, just to initiate their recovery.

Healthcare Workers: Highly Exposed to this Disorder

As we are still in the thick of the pandemic, in many countries, results of early studies and researches are slowly coming out. Many of them come from China, where the first wave started and also ended before any other country. One of those studies, focused on nurses exposed to the coronavirus. It concluded that almost 17% of them suffered from PTSD and showed mainly avoidance symptoms.

A second study, this time web-based, including respondents from different work fields, showed that people coming from the healthcare industry where the one most affected by poor sleep. The younger individuals were in greater number (below 35 years of age), as they declared having important mood swings and anxiety symptoms. The whole study concluded that 35% of the respondents suffered from anxiety, 20% from depression and 18% from an inability to sleep well.

More time will be needed to fully understand the phycological trauma the COVID-19 will have created. However, numbers already show that this will leave important scars behind, for an important percentage of the world population.