COVID-19 pandemic may add extra stress for people with PTSD

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The feeling of uncertainty or lack of control in these times can be overwhelming for some people.

Amy Bloch is the executive director of Catholic Charities. She said this can be a challenge for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“What happens is, it’s almost another trauma has happened when they start feeling that out of control. It brings back all of those things again,” Bloch said.

Bloch said the unpredictability of COVID-19 can act as a trigger.

“For somebody who has PTSD, it can not only increase that stress and anxiety, but it can bring back the feelings and experiences and some of those memories from that trauma,” Bloch added.

Jennifer Jackson, the executive director of Heartland Counseling Services, said part of the coping process is knowing your triggers and how to deal with them.

“Remember to really pay attention to your own body and how you’re reacting to things. If you’re having flashbacks, if you’re having nightmares, startled responses, you know, it’s time to probably check in with your friends or support people to make sure you’re continuing your road to recovery,” Jackson said.

Bloch and Jackson recommend creating a schedule or routine and sticking to it. This will allow a sense of control while also practicing a sense of normalcy.

Block said telehealth is also available. It’s a way for people to receive counseling or therapy virtually if they don’t want to leave their homes.

The VA, Heartland Counseling Services, Catholic Charities and Siouxland Mental Health are just a few outlets available to people dealing with PTSD.

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