ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — For months people have been going through a pandemic and for some, it’s triggering mental health issues.
Certified Cognitive and Behavioral Therapist, Kati Wells, MS, LPC says more people are experiencing mental health challenges like anxiety and depression.
She adds there is also a rise of folks being clinically diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as a result of the pandemic.
She says experiencing the death of a loved one to COVID, being severely sick, hospitalized and potentially almost dying from the virus aree examples of pandemic-related traumas.
She adds those who work in jobs where they are constantly exposed to deaths like hospital workers, are also at risk of developing PTSD because of COVID.
“It is day in and day out and high levels of deaths… that are among all different kinds of patients and all different kinds of age categories and health levels in terms of patients,” said Wells.
For someone diagnosed with PTSD that can mean having flashbacks of images, nightmares, having trouble sleeping or avoiding certain places or a person that may remind them of the trauma.
Wells says it’s important to know that not every trauma experience develops into PTSD. However, PTSD and other mental health issues can severely impact someone’s day-to-day life.
That’s why it is very important that if you having a tough time you speak to a mental health professional to get the treatment you need to manage your symptoms.
With the right support folks who experience mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic can live happy and productive lives.
She says it’s important to recognize when it starts to become a problem in your life and be able to get the care you need, like speaking to a mental health professional.
Wells says having a strong support system around you whether that is your family or friends will also greatly benefit someone going through a stressful time
“People around you that say hey, is something wrong? They are checking in on you. They are there to hear what is happening so that you are processing through them… and everyone is making sure that everyone is okay within their system,” said Wells.
She adds to also find ways to reduce extra stressors in your life.
For example, if you work in a job where you are exposed to others and worried about getting sick then make sure to have your protective mask, and wipes and other items to make you feel safer.
Don’t forget those daily necessities, like getting enough sleep, eating right, getting enough and exercise. It’s important to give yourself enough alone time so you can recharge.