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As virus continues, stressed healthcare workers are at risk of PTSD

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Dr. D. Kim Hamblin, PhD This has been an extremely stressful time for the country. We have faced the stress and unpredictability of dealing with the unknown, a lack of control and lack of power, and the change in our lifestyles forced by social distancing and the closing of multiple small businesses.

We have experienced shortages of common items. Schools, stores, restaurants have been closed. We are deluged with information about sickness and death and confronted with anxiety and fear about ourselves and our loved ones.

Our healthcare providers have been faced with an even more difficult set of stressors. This pandemic may provide us with our next wave of people suffering with PTSD. It is important to discriminate between Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and PTSD. ASD arises from the stress that we are currently facing. The core elements of ASD and PTSD are the experiencing of traumatic events, exposure to injury or death, intrusive thoughts or memories of the trauma, prolonged physiological and psychological distress, the inability to escape the distress, and unrelenting arousal and lack of sleep. PTSD arises from the inability to get past the acute stress in the future, once we are out of danger. It comes […]

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