What is PTSD?
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The event can be direct or indirect; meaning, one can experience PTSD as a result of seeing something traumatic, or as a result of learning about a traumatizing event, such as the death of a loved one.
Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories of the event, avoidance, nightmares and trouble sleeping, hypervigilance (extreme sensitivity to your surroundings), and negative thoughts or moods.
What is Depression?
Depression is a treatable but serious condition. Depression symptoms include feelings of sadness, anger or loss. Depression is common, especially over the course of Covid-19: The Center for Disease Control reported a 5% increase, to 41.5% of Americans experiencing symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder from August 2020 — February 2021.
Also known as ‘major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it can prevent you from completing everyday tasks, cause anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Depression isn’t something you can ‘get over’ or ‘snap out of’, and may require long term treatment with therapy and medication. In many instances, depression can follow exposure to trauma.
Are PTSD and Depression related?
Approximately half of those with an initial diagnosis of PTSD experience depression, but depression isn’t necessarily tied to a traumatic event and can independently occur and worsen.
Treatment plans for depression and PTSD are similar, and both can include a combination of talk therapy and medication to manage symptoms.
Are PTSD and Depression related to the pandemic?
The stress of the pandemic could have exacerbated existing PTSD and depression symptoms, or caused new symptoms. For example, healthcare workers had exposure to Covid and its effects in a high stress environment on a regular basis. While a patient of Covid may have experienced severe infection that left them afraid for their health and life. For those who weren’t in either situation, the unknown and social isolation over a long period of time can have an impact on your mental health.
No matter what your experience was, the pandemic may have caused psychological stress. If you notice symptoms of PTSD or Depression impacting your daily life, it’s ok to reach out for help.
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