With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting such a significant number around the globe, obligatory isolation is occurring for individuals who test positive for coronavirus. Entire communities have gone to dramatic lengths to stop the spread by means of social distancing. The world is going online for remote learning and telecommutes. Sunday congregation seats are vacant, parks, sports fields, workplaces, cafés, and train stations all too remain as ghost towns.
Social separation is the best practice for easing the spread, “flattening the curve” and is indispensable for what we believe will eventually be the end of COVID-19. Physical separation is essential, however there might be ramifications for those disconnected—particularly combined with the experience of having previous conditions—that need consideration.
Scientists in China have begun to examine if PTSD was a pre-existing condition for COVID-19 survivors. The specialists were interested to explore what the emotional well-being and emotional status of those released from isolation resembled. Their research paper, distributed in Psychological Medicine on March 27th, notes:
“According to the treatment guidelines in China, COVID-19 patients need to be treated in isolated infectious hospitals. Due to social isolation, perceived danger, uncertainty, physical discomfort, medication side effects, fear of virus transmission to others, and overwhelming negative news portrayal in mass media coverage, patients with COVID-19 may experience loneliness, anger, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and posttraumatic stress symptoms.”
The analysts asked COVID-19 patients to take an online survey before their discharge from the five isolation facilities built in Wuhan. These temporary emergency facilities were built specifically to hold, isolate, and treat patients who tested positive for Covid-19. The survey members all met an entire foundation of criteria prior to the survey. Each patient was proven to be a COVID-19 patient as diagnosed by clinical physicians. Of the 730 patients enrolled to be in the examination, 714 fulfilled this criteria and took an interest in the survey. The mean age of survey members was 50.2 years old.
“The 17-item self-reported PTSD Checklist (PCL-C) (Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993) was used to assess the severity of the posttraumatic stress symptoms. A total PCL-C score of ≥50 was considered ‘having significant posttraumatic stress symptoms.’ (X.-Y. Yang, Yang, Liu, & Yang, 2007.”
The analysts found that dependent on the PTSD Checklist poll, the predominance of genuine PTSD in the patients released from isolation was at an incredibly high 96.2%. Stressed out as patients might be, the analysts noticed that external influencing stimuli may add to PTSD side effects, such as negative media coverage and outward social hostility towards Covid-19 patients.
The survey showed that a few COVID-19 survivors experienced PTSD before being discharged from isolation. This implied to the analysts COVID-19 treatment should not stop once patients are discharged from segregation. There are by all accounts requirements for long haul mental intercessions for patients overcoming COVID-19.
Considering how widespread the outbreak of COVID-19 is, the research indicates that PTSD will be a widespread epidemic after the global quarantine subsides. We fully recommend teletherapy sessions during this time. Feel free to contact us regarding our online and telephone sessions. Please, if you or someone you know is affected by the global pandemic directly, remember that care shouldn’t stop once the quarantine is lifted.