The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly 1.5 million deaths worldwide as of late November 2020. It’s also been the source of considerable suffering as people struggle with economic devastation, food insecurity, unemployment, workplace safety concerns, the loss of loved ones, and social isolation.
Even after individuals infected with coronavirus recover, the psychological toll can last long-term and symptoms can be similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People affected by post-COVID stress disorder may experience nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, detachment from family and friends, and overwhelming feelings of anger, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.
Scientists and doctors are still learning about the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-related stress disorders. Researchers in North America have developed COVID Stress Scales to help identify people in need of mental health services as a result of the pandemic. So far, healing has focused on interventions that have proven helpful for individuals affected by PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Here are five ways to address post-COVID stress disorder, improve mental health, and adopt coping strategies amidst the ongoing global pandemic.