The current coronavirus pandemic is a source of great stress and anxiety for most people. Self-isolation takes its toll on everyone, while the uncertainty of what the days ahead will hold is a source of concern and uneasiness. These feelings can be completely overwhelming and debilitating for those who have a history of mental health problems, especially those with PTSD.
People who suffer from PTSD are prone to experiencing anxiety and depression as well. With so much about daily life being disrupted by COVID-19, those with PTSD might not have access to their typical coping mechanisms and thus will be more at risk of having further mental health issues develop.
If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with PTSD, there are several things you can do in order to help them through this difficult and uncertain time.
The number one thing you can do for a loved one with PTSD is make consistent shows of support. This can be difficult when forced to practice self-isolation, as you can’t actually be physically present for someone. That being said, in this day and age there are a handful of ways you can keep in contact with a loved one and make them feel supported.
Video chats are probably the best way to communicate with friends and family at the moment. The ability to not only hear someone’s voice, but to also see their face is incredibly comforting and can help ward off feelings of loneliness. Make sure to communicate with your loved one on a regular basis. You should also be sure that they are aware that if they ever need to reach out, you are just a quick call away.
Texting and engaging in social media can also be good ways of showing your support for that person. Sometimes a simple message to let someone know that you are thinking of him or her can do so much.
Encourage Them to Seek Help
Oftentimes, those with PTSD or a similar mental health issue can shy away from seeking professional help for one reason or another. If you sense that your loved one is becoming overwhelmed by their stress, it is important that you help them seek professional help. While it may not be possible at this time to attend mental health appointments or other forms of therapy, mental health professionals are making themselves available in other ways. Video or phone appointments are readily available, and of course, essential medical assistance is still very much on the table.
Help Them Focus on the Good
There is so much being reported on in the news about every negative aspect of the coronavirus pandemic. It can be all too easy to become engrossed in the negativity and completely miss out on the positive aspects that are happening during these times. Help your loved one find something positive to focus on (such as good news) as opposed to allowing them to become obsessed with negative reporting.