Post-COVID Stress Disorder

Have you noticed the news lately? Are you wondering what is going on? We see mass shootings routinely, people on airplanes going bonkers when asked to put a mask on, people in stores attacking others for not wearing a mask. Just a cursory glance at the headlines would make one think that something is up.

There are lots of reasons that crime and disorderly incidents are up and I am not trying to gloss over the fundamental problems of cities that have defunded the police and/or are releasing felons without bail. But I believe that something more is at play here.

Lately when I read the news, I have wondered if many in our nation are suffering from Post COVID Stress Disorder. There is something going on in our society as a whole and I believe that as a nation we have been traumatized by the societal problems created by COVID. I didn’t know if such a condition exists but I recently read an article by Dr. Caelan Soma titled, “Post-Covid Stress Disorder and Pandemic Trauma and Stress Experience.”

The article was written in February before society began to open up and return to normal. People were feeling this stress then and I believe that many are still suffering from it after almost a year of lockdowns and economic hardships. She states that many have suffered traumatic stress due to: “severe illness, hospitalization, witnessing death and extreme exposure to COVID-19 details.”

Many of us have not experienced that level of traumatic stress but most of us have experienced some of these general stressors she talks about: “COVID-19 exposure and quarantine, social isolation, employment and/or income loss, working at home with children, being a caregiver or making difficult decisions about health, education, finances, etc.”

Before we dismiss the idea that we have not suffered some form of stress from the pandemic, let’s ask ourselves how did it affect us personally? If nothing else, how did it feel to go to the store after the hoarders had bought out the toilet paper, cleaning wipes and most of the canned food? How did it feel to listen to the constant harping about COVID on the news with the death statistics on the screen every minute of every day?

I believe we have all been through a great deal this past year and we should not discount it. Most of us know of someone who died or who became very ill from COVID. Many were unable to work and had to shutter their businesses at great financial cost. We have been through a lot and we have been through it together as a society. Like it or not, the COVID pandemic has affected us all to one degree or another. We will never take for granted buying a package of toilet paper or Clorox wipes at the store. We related to people through a mask for more than twelve months. The social isolation was hell for those who live alone and were not permitted out to visit their relatives or have their relatives in.

While we watch the puzzling behavior of people in the airplanes or at the stores, let’s keep in mind the COVID Stress Disorder. Many are suffering from it and they have no idea why they feel the way they do and why they are acting the way the are. The Disorder is real and many continue to experience the effects of the trauma and stress they have been through.

Photo by Gerd Altman. Courtesy of Pixabay

17 thoughts on “Post-COVID Stress Disorder

  1. Hi Valerie, Good post!! I do believe this is a “thing,” and strange as it seems, many people don’t know how to return to a maskless, less social space society. While we waited for COVID to abate, the mask and distancing offered us a sense of security. It’s like our blankie has been taken away – how do we proceed without it?

    Possibly, the fear that rushed in w/COVID has morphed and spread into a disorder. While medical help may be necessary and appropriate to seek, God is always only a whispered prayer away. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this important information!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t disagree about the stress induced by the pandemic and the resultant restrictions. And I too have seen the headlines. I believe that there are people who are on the edge of reason just looking for an excuse to behave badly. The pandemic gave them an excuse. The political animosity in the country has given them an excuse, and the simmering tensions between the haves and the have nots has given them an excuse. As far as I know, no police departments have been defunded. They have shifted funds from buying more armored vehicles to making sure all officers have functional body cameras… Our fair city has one “SWAT” van and one bomb disposal vehicle that have not been used in the last 5 years. The department opted to get dash cams and body cams instead of buying a second bomb disposal truck. Which I think was a prudent and needed shift in financial priorities. No money was taken away but the police department made the decision in conjunction with the city council and budget office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So appreciate your thoughts! So agree…so many people are on the edge of reason! Blessings to you! I was not trying to simplify the problems of our societal breakdown. There are many reasons…I am just adding one more!

      Like

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