Coronavirus Outbreak and Trauma

Corona and Trauma

We are going through very difficult times due to the coronavirus epidemic worldwide. This process we have been through has caused us to reconsider and think about many things. One of the consequences of this global epidemic, which threatens the lives and existence of individuals and is distressing for everyone, is the trauma experienced by people.

Intense emotions such as uncertainty in this traumatic period, the fear that the disease will infect himself or his family, and not feeling safe will be sources of anxiety. The fact that the treatment of COVID-19 disease is not known exactly, and in this process, it can cause behavioral and communication problems such as separation from loved ones, loss of freedom, feelings of helplessness, and anger problems. Even the change of daily life style due to the epidemic in the society can cause trauma reactions in individuals. In such cases, acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder can be seen. However, not every traumatized individual perceives events or situations in the same way and does not react in the same way. At the end of this process, some of us return to normal on their own, while some of us post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)We will fight with.

What is Trauma?

Trauma; mourning the individual ̧ Being physically exposed to events such as personal danger, injury, sexual assault, or returning from their shores, witnessing such events, or being attacked by a relative ̧ It is considered as the arrival of such an event (DSM-5; APA, 2013). The American Psychiatric Association, on the other hand, defines traumatic stress as “a state of intense fear and helplessness in the face of death or threat of death, serious injury, or a situation that threatens the physical integrity of the subject or those around him”.

Life is full of many experiences that can create traumatic stress. Individuals’ reactions to the traumatic event may vary. Of course, there are many factors that affect this situation. Among these factors, the individual’s class structure, socio-economic status, cultural characteristics, individual characteristics, and psychological reactions affect. People with PTSD constantly replay memories of the traumatic event in their minds in a disturbing way. (flashback) The person experiences anxiety by thinking that this event will happen again and goes to applications that will limit functionality in his daily life.

In PTSD, non-adaptive (adaptive) methods such as trying to suppress thought in case of abnormal and excessive thinking (rumination) and avoidance are frequently used, and in the metacognitive (high-level cognitive structure that controls, regulates and evaluates cognitions) the person realizes that these are dysfunctional. is not done. In other words, the person makes a habit of non-functional coping methods here, but this does not bring a solution to the source of the real problem.

In the treatment of PTSD, depending on the frequency and severity of the symptoms, psychotherapy methods are quite effective in addition to drug treatment. Sometimes, the individual can be healed only with psychotherapy methods without medication. It shows that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Reprocessing) Method are very effective on PTSD and many accompanying psychological disorders.

What can we do to reduce spiritual influence?

The feelings and thoughts we experience should not be ignored. It should be prevented to receive news from loved ones, to provide communication opportunities, to prevent information pollution, and to prevent the quarantine process itself from turning into a traumatic factor.

Finally, as an individual who has struggled with Covid-19 as a family, I would like to add, “This period is a time when people need each other, intense and complex emotions are experienced, “why?”, “why?” questions are asked, and the desire to know that they are with their loved ones again, It’s a time when hearing your voice is a source of happiness…”

Do not hesitate to express your feelings, share your experiences and thoughts. The best thing for you will be to talk about and share your experiences in this process. In a situation where we cannot cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, you should definitely get help from experts.

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