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PTSD in People with Past Health Traumas

Experiencing surgeries and other medical procedures is no walk in the park. The same can be said if you have experienced a life-threatening illness. Assistant professor Maia Kredentser of the University of Manitoba says 6.5% of PTSD cases are related to life-threatening illnesses. If more people are aware of the trauma that comes from past health traumas, more can be done now, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Controversy of Medical-Related PTSD

Not a lot has been written about medical trauma and PTSD. This could be because according to the DSM-5, “A life threatening illness or debilitating medical condition is not necessarily considered a traumatic event. Medical incidents that qualify as traumatic events involve sudden, catastrophic events.” This could mean that healthcare professionals do not feel a medical trauma fits the description for PTSD and do not suggest to their patients that the two may be related. Not talking about medical-related PTSD means people are not getting the proper care they need.

Medical-related PTSD can also be hard because it can take effect at different times for different people. Some will feel the effects after a hospital stay and others may not realize what they are feeling until another health event triggers them. Having a severe health scare or a chronic condition can make you question how strong your body is, even if you got better in the past.

PTSD Triggers Exist During a Pandemic

COVID-19 could be making a person’s trauma worse. Perceived threat and social isolation could increase the symptoms. People are stuck in their homes and want to watch the news to know what is happening in the world, but the frequent coverage depicting the harm that has come from COVID-19 could be very harmful for people with PTSD. Much of the imagery of people in masks or at hospitals being hooked up to ventilators can be triggering to people who have survived past medical traumas. It reminds them of being in the hospital.

How to Seek Help for Medical-Related PTSD

It is best to reach out to a mental health professional right now if you are experiencing medical-related nightmares as a result of COVID-19. Be honest with your doctor about why you are feeling this way, so you can receive the right course of treatment. It is essential to get help for your trauma to make living during COVID-19 much easier.

COVID-19 could be triggering PTSD or affecting your mental health in other ways. The Guest House offers customized treatment for addiction and mental illness caused by trauma. We provide a multitude of treatment options, including breath work, equine therapy, art therapy, grief therapy, cinema therapy mindfulness, individualized and group therapy, and more. Our skilled and experienced staff can help you find the type of care that best meets your needs. Call us today at 855-876-3884 to learn more.