The coronavirus pandemic’s not fully over, and already it has taken so much from so many; time, jobs, livelihoods, loved ones, the tremendous impact it's had on our lives. The way we function is something experts say we can heal from.
"I really do feel like we're going to see a lot more trauma disorders that come out of this," Dr. Eric French, Medical Director of Adult Psychiatry, Medical Center of Aurora, said.
"In a pandemic, we're exposed to stress or maybe more likely to develop a mental health issue," Flavia Desouza, Board Certified Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at Howard University, said.
Collective Suffering, Mass Trauma, Pandemic PTSD, whatever you call it, a shared terrible event can leave people feeling powerless. Don’t ignore that, so you can heal, experts say.
"Broadly put, trauma is something that overwhelms our ability to cope. It overwhelms our senses and leaves us feeling helpless and unsafe," Sana Powel, LCP, The Curly Therapist, said.
Nothing replaces getting an individual medical opinion, but sometimes getting to that step may require help, especially if you notice it in someone else close to you.
"Approach the subject in a way that you can have an open dialogue about mental health and maybe you connect it to something that you've seen on the news. And you can phrase it in a way like, you know, 'I saw this on television and it's a lot of people that are experiencing difficulties right now because of the pandemic, you know. Have you thought about that?'" Dr. Erlanger Turner, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University and Author of Mental Health Among African Americans: Innovations in Research and Practice, said.
"Regardless of what your experience is, regardless of what your identities are, I encourage you to honor them, make space for them and practice self care," Powell added.
The insight here isn't meant to substitute medical advice.
If you're looking for free and low-cost care near you, maybe start at findahealthcenter.HRSA.gov or by calling (800) 662-HELP.