We reside in unsure instances. With the second wave of COVID being touted as much more unpredictable than the primary, the concern of the unknown is rising. “This growing uncertainty can massively affect the mental health of seniors. The fact that they are the most susceptible to the virus coupled with the fear of losing their loved ones and the guilt of possibly being the carriers of the virus can be detrimental to their mental health,” mentioned Dr Shilpi Kulshreshtha, head medical care, Antara, a Max Group firm specialising in senior care.
She added: “Additionally, quarantine leads to loneliness, restricts their mobility and independence causing an increase in grief, anxiety, and chronic stress that can have long-standing psychological effects. Some situations like the loss of a close family member or a friend can cause traumatic stress or even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which can persist for months or even years and many might be unaware of this.”
Families and caregivers want to be consciously concerned in caring for the aged and keep up to date in regards to the signs and the coping strategies of traumatic stress and present utmost sensitivity to their mental well being.
Symptoms of trauma-led stress
Disbelief within the occasion: Not accepting the truth and feeling disconnected and numb
Losing belief in oneself: Being frightened about shedding management if the identical state of affairs prevails sooner or later, all the time on the alert mode
Grief: This might be due to shedding somebody shut (household or buddies) to the virus, or simply unhappiness induced by the state of affairs world wide.
Feeling helpless: The unpredictable pandemic left many feeling susceptible, helpless, making them inclined to anxiousness/despair.
Feeling guilt: Seniors would possibly really feel responsible that they couldn’t do something to assist others who’ve died
Anger: They could also be indignant on the authorities, or people who find themselves not following the covid-guidelines or anybody else they really feel are answerable for the state of affairs
*Increase or lack of urge for food
*Changes in sleeping patterns together with nightmares or insomnia
*Difficulty in concentrating on a thought, or racing ideas and not having the ability to cease
*Memory issues or confusion
*Excessive sweating main to dizziness, fainting
*Chest pains or pounding coronary heart
*Difficulty respiration or fast respiration
*Unexplained aches and pains
Difference between traumatic stress and PTDS in seniors
“Both PTSD and traumatic stress have similar symptoms right after the trauma occurs but they advance in different ways. Traumatic stress symptoms improve over time through proper care of mental and emotional wellbeing. If however, traumatic stress symptoms don’t gradually improve, this means that the nervous system remains in a loop, seniors are unable to move on from the trauma caused by the event for a prolonged period of time. This causes PTSD. In some cases, they might start feeling worse each day instead of getting better because of being in a psychological shock,” Dr Kulshreshtha advised indianexpress.com.
Minimizing publicity to the media
*Don’t watch the information in regards to the pandemic or examine social media simply earlier than mattress. Take a break from watching the information fully if vital.
*Try to keep away from distressing photographs and video clips resembling folks struggling in hospitals and many others
Accepting your emotions and the truth
*Denial or disbelief will solely worsen the signs
*Accepting them and then engaged on them will make the method of coping a lot simpler
*Give your self time to heal, don’t pressure the method
Exercise and keep motivated
*Exercise to launch feel-good endorphins
*Start incorporating mindfulness activities into your days resembling yoga, deep respiration workouts, or meditation
*Boost your vitality and your temper via listening to favourite music, shifting round, studying your favourite e-book, cooking, and many others
*Social isolation due to covid pointers can depart you feeling alone and helpless
*It’s essential to keep related with buddies and household, even when it’s via video calls
*You don’t essentially have to discuss in regards to the pandemic or something that may set off your trauma, as an alternative, speak about different day-to-day regular issues
Use grounding workouts
*Put your fingers in water
*Pick up or contact gadgets close to you
*Savour a meals or drink
*Take a brief stroll
*Hold a bit of ice
Maintain weight-reduction plan and sleeping patterns
*The meals one eats can straight have an effect on one’s temper and therefore the flexibility to address stress
*Depending in your medical situation, your physician can give you a weight-reduction plan that retains the emotional and mental well being in examine as nicely.
*Sleep administration is essential as trauma could cause disruptions within the sleeping sample. Avoiding caffeine within the night, avoiding alcohol, and doing one thing stress-free earlier than mattress resembling studying a e-book or listening to music can assist
It’s time to search skilled remedy when
*It’s been over six weeks because the occasion, and you’re solely feeling worse. For instance, one nonetheless has bother sleeping and hypervigilance
*Connecting to others appears troublesome, you’re socially isolating your self
*Having nightmares or flashbacks, experiencing recurrent and intrusive reminiscences of the trauma (in case of PTSD).
*Avoiding issues or conditions that remind you of the traumatic occasion.
*Thinking about suicide or having suicidal feeling
“It’s normal to experience traumatic stress following a disturbing event as severe as this global pandemic, but it’s important to know how to deal with it in order to improve one’s health. One should also know when to seek professional help if the need arises,” Dr Kulshreshtha mentioned.