Stay at home or shelter in place mandates, we are increasingly staying in isolation away from society, result PTSD.
10 simple techniques and ways to cope up with lockdown related Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD and 10 Simple things to do when you are suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder due to lockdown. Due to the stay at home or shelter in place mandates, we are increasingly staying in isolation away from society. The results, loneliness, feeling depressed and isolated. Situations like this are likely leads to worsening the symptoms of depression for those who are already suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder.
The PTSD conditions can last for months or sometimes even years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.
Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood.
PTSD and Coronavirus
Now that the enemy is known and the battle lines already drawn, let’s see how is the lockdown affecting your mental health. First responders, medical staff, law enforcement and the fire department are working round the clock to save those who are affected by this virus. Daily 12-14 hours long shift, constant fear of getting exposed and hence infected by the virus is taking toll on these heros, result, Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD.
Heart felt thank you to first responders for working on both sides of this crisis. Hospitals and medical researchers are aware of this growing trend of PTSD and already studying the impact of #COVID19 on #Wellbeing of #HealthCareWorkers and amalgamating strategies from around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented demand on healthcare workers globally. In several parts of the world, certain services have been reduced and colleagues have been redeployed to help in Intensive Care and support the emergency services. We are collecting data on the wellbeing of healthcare workers during this challenging time and aiming to learn the strategies employed by healthcare systems around the world. This will allow us to learn from different systems and help design unified guidance to optimize well-being.
It is no secret that COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on the wellbeing of healthcare workers and this impact is global. The pandemic is creating unpleasant incidents which can leave long lasting impact on the medical staff. In first reponders, PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, or learning that a traumatic event has happened to a loved one. Depending on the severity of the event, the trauma can range from mild to intense.
If you too are feeling stressed due to ongoing situation and work pressure, please take this self assessment quiz as primary step. This quiz is designed to help you assess your mental condition.
10 ways ongoing protest and Coronavirus lockdown is causing PTSD
- Trauma of seeing injustice
- Witnessing violence – either you are watching it on your TV, YouTube, News, TikTok videos or in person. Seeing first hand violence can leave a long lasting trauma which is one of the major reason behind PTSD suffering
- Trauma from hearing about violence
- Forced to remain silent – in this case the accumulation of fear, suffering inside your mind can suddenly outburst. However, holding on to your emotions and thoughts to yourself for a prolonged period of time may lead you to the PTSD mental illness
- Feeling worthless when your voice is not heard
- Feeling of completely lost when you are constantly ignored
- Repetitive nature of scary news showing footage of Coronavirus impact on human life
- Without any treatment in sight, the feeling of helplessness has grappled the mind of many and driving them insane
- Unable to get medical help – all medical professionalizes are busy fighting the battle against COVID19 and providing care to Coronavirus impacted patients. As a results, other patients are unable to seek attention from their doctors.
- Prolonged social isolation is cutting off the option of expressing your feeling to your friends or family
First step is to understand if you show any signs or symptoms that can clinically be diagnosed as PTSD. Take this self assessment PTSD test to know if you are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
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10 Simple Things To Do if you are suffering from PTSD due to isolation or lockdown
You are living through a pandemic and historic revolution. Please do not beat yourself up if your mental health isn’t the best. Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD is increasingly becoming a challenge in medical professionals, police, fire fighters and all front line staff.
PTSD explained in beautiful words
It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past
but the past refusing to let go of the person
Yoga and meditation have proven effective in controlling your anxiety and mood swings. Remember, one can’t expect the results within few days but rather when you practice the relaxation techniques over the period of few weeks to months, your mood swings can effectively be controlled.
To keep our mental and physical health right, we must do continuous meditation. Even a few minutes spent meditating regularly can make a big transformation.
Sometimes, when we don’t get desired results, we start developing negative attitude towards our goals. Even we avoid trying again. It’s all because of lack of patience and will power. But, it can be earned easily if we do meditation regularly.
Soothing music effect
Listen to your favorite music. Meditation coupled with soothing music can bring calming effects. Calm music that uses nature sounds and ambient instrumental music to bring about soothing relaxation for body and mind. Listen to soothing music for autogenic training to ensure whole-body sleep relaxation or as part of your sleep meditation practice. Music has proven to be effective in treating Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD anxiety and depression.
Orange Essential Oil
Use Orange Essential Oil – the Therapeutic Grade Sweet Orange Oil has found to be effective on controlling PTSD symptoms. Embrace the versatility of Orange essential oil as a culinary tool by using it in your cooking to brighten up or complement dishes with its citrus flavor. Essential oil blend comprising of orange, spearmint and grapefruit essential oils raise the spirits and help to reduce lethargy.
Orange is one of the oldest and most widely used citrus fruits that mankind has ever used. Orange properties are especially useful in treating diseases and for natural health.
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects around 8 million adults in the United States, but treatments for the condition are still limited. A study at George Washington University has shown that Orange Essential Oil may help people with stress, fear and possibly PTSD.
Orange essential oil was tested in mice to determine the impact of the compound on fear memory and immune cell activation. The researchers used Pavlovian Fear Conditioning – a behavioral mouse model – “to study the formation, storage, and expression of fear memories as a model for PTSD.”
Pavlovian Fear Conditioning pairs a tone with a negative stimulus, such as a shock to the foot, which provokes fear as a response in the mice. The mice form an associative memory between the tone and the stimulus. When presented with the tone alone, the mice exhibit a fear response and typically freeze. This response diminishes slowly as time goes on.
Relative to pharmaceuticals, essential oils are much more economical and do not have adverse side effects. The orange essential plant oil showed a significant effect on the behavioral response in our study mice. This is promising because it shows that passively inhaling this essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans.
These home based techniques have proven beneficial for many patients suffering from PTSD. For better results, use these simple in-house techniques along with your medication.
Deep breathing yoga techniques heals mind deals with memory PTSD. It also helps to deal with intense emotions. Overall yoga has proven effective in repairing brain. Most of us have some form of PTSD. It doesn’t take a war to imbed trauma within you and hold yourself back. What very few of us realize that there are now methods and techniques available to heal your memories and be free of the wounds of the past. You don’t have to carry that weight in your heart anymore, now matter was has caused it in first place.
Deep slow breathing creates pranic energy, a self healing cell, body, mind and energyways to effectively deal with Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD.
When in doubt, focus on taking a deep breath. Your breath is there to help center you and release tension. Often times when we pause to take that breath, the answer to whatever is challenging us in the moment reveals itself.
Mindfulness Therapy provides one of the best approaches available for reprocessing traumatic memories and healing from the emotional suffering associated with PTSD. Mindfulness meditation for healing all forms of anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD, depression, and addiction recovery and other forms of emotional suffering, by applying the well-tested teachings of Mindfulness Meditation Therapy.
Some of the deepest, most impactful work you can do in this world is to develop compassion for the parts of yourself that you intensely dislike. If you can use mindfulness and acceptance to take a good look at your thoughts and actions, maybe you can begin to choose to change.
A good reminder for all of us who have suffered trauma to be gentle with ourselves. And remind others to be gentle as well.
Muscle relaxing exercises
Get out from where you are to an open place. Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through nose for 4 seconds. Hold it in for 7. Exhale out through mouth for 8 seconds. Focus on an object. Name 5 things you can see around you. 4 you can touch. 3 you can hear. 2 you can smell. 1 that you can taste. Try muscle relaxing exercises. Acknowledge that you’re having a panic attack. Know that it’ll be okay!
Implementing muscle relaxing exercises and stress management techniques will help you relax those muscles. If you are on the phone much of the time, use a headset if possible instead. Simple changes can bring big help to your way in your fight against PTSD
Generally, exercise helps you keep fit. It aids blood flow to organs that require it, esp your brain. It helps your memory. Alertness. It eases muscle tension. It helps you maintain or gain a healthy weight.
Self help group is where like minded people suffering from PTSD and mental illness gather, share stories about the trauma that has lead to their mental illness, talk about treatment plans they are following and mostly how are they coping up with the trauma and depression arising from it. The self help groups offer a platform to share your thoughts with others with the confidence that your voice will be heard. Since this group consist of patients just like you, each other’s experiences can help you manage your stress and anxiety level.
There are police with PTSD, and Substance Abuse issues, and some may have a hard time coping successfully. The selg help group benefits everyone irrespective of the nature of your trauma and background. Think positive when the fear of trauma attacks and occupies your mind. The positive mindset can significantly reduce the stress arising from the fearful thoughts associated with the trauma.
Express yourself in writing
Unable to express yourself or vent out your feelings, writing down your thought. If you can’t speak and feels shy to express your thoughts to someone, use the word power to relieve your thoughts. Speak your heart and once your let your emotions out, your mind will immediately feel relieved. The anxiety and overall stress level subdue and recede quickly.
Engage yourself in completely irrational activities
This is based on principals of distraction. Watch TV, play video games or do the sort of things that you have never attempted before, The key here is to distract your mind into something totally new, never experienced before area.
Sometimes I feel like giving up.
Then I remember, I have lot of people to prove wrong
Any random activities you engage with will benefit you to blunt the effect of traumatic thoughts. As was this artist case who has experienced lot of trauma as a child. The drawing has allowed an outlet for those emotions to be released and to find a positive distraction which has turned into her passion. Use every distraction as an object of meditation and they cease to be distractions.
Monitor your eating habits
Monitoring your diet is part of self caring technique. Taking diet regularly at predefined intervals. Making a meal schedule is the first important step. Once you maintain eating times, then move on to the step to improve your diet. Food rich in protein and fibers help both ways. It keeps your body in good shape and also nourishes your brain to produce chemicals than can affect the mood swing.
A recent study presented by the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine reported that eating blueberries might help mitigate the effects of a gene known to be connected to PTSD and suicidality.
Include below important ingredients and dietary supplements in your food to reduce depression and PTSD related anxiety
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin D
- Tuna or Brazil nuts
More ways to blunt and mitigate effect of Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD using these in-house methods.
Sleep on time
Another self-care method is to sleep on time. Make sleeping schedule and stick to it
Take long walks
Long walks one in the morning and then again in the evening will help to keep your mind fresh and deplete any trauma related thoughts.
Try cardiovascular exercises or engage yourself with housework and household activities that can help flex your muscles. Healthy body inturn enriches blood supply to your brain and thus can control the mood swings associated with PTSD.
10 PTSD Treatment options
If you are diagnosed with PTSD, good thing to know is that PTSD is common and treatable. Not only regular patients but we expect a hoard of medical practitioner and first reposnders may experience PTSD due to continual exposure to stressful work situation and increasing number of deaths. It’s heartbreaking to witness the toll this virus is having on the mental health of frontline staff. The Government must ensure that mental health support, including PTSD services, are available now, for all hospital staff, cops and firefighters. Even those who are directly and indirectly involved in our battle against Coronavirus.
Roughly 44.7 million Americans have previously struggled or continue to struggle with symptoms of PSTD. Every year almost 8 million Americans suffer from PTSD. But this year could be different as given the lockdown and BM protest, the Prolonged Lockdown Isolation PTSD patient numbers can soar than normal trends.
Treatment includes different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy as well as medications to manage symptoms.
Trauma never goes away completely
It changes perhaps, softens some with time
But never completely goes away
Common treatments suggested by medial health professional are
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Talk Therapy
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing)
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