June has been a challenging month for hundreds of millions of Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps those affected most by the coronavirus epidemic in America are men and women living with mental health disorders and behavioral health disorders. Isolation and loneliness are plaguing an untold number of people; individuals living with conditions like addiction, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are severely impacted by being cut off from society.
Since March, we’ve been instructed by public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay indoors and avoid contact with others whenever possible. Social distancing, self-quarantining, and staying at home for extended lengths of time isn’t easy for any person. However, the mandates mentioned above are challenging for those with pre-existing mental health disorders.
Millions of Americans rely on support networks to maintain their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic is a barrier to accessing mutual support groups, and countless individuals face enormous obstacles to their recovery. What’s more, the ever-rising number of new cases and the coronavirus death toll has resulted in millions living in fear for their lives. Mental health experts predict that new cases of PTSD will be a significant byproduct of the pandemic.
Fear and anxiety are only natural, particularly if you consider that more than 2.5 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19. Worse, 124,442 men, women, and children in America have lost their lives to complications stemming from the coronavirus.
Moreover, previously held records of new cases are being broken each day in many states. The spike of new coronavirus cases is being attributed to some states’ decision to reopen businesses prematurely. Making matters worse, more than a few citizens are averse to wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and are not taking social distancing seriously.
PTSD Awareness Month
Post-traumatic stress disorder – a condition commonly linked to individuals who’ve served in the military – is a mental health condition that impacts millions of Americans. However, PTSD is not solely relegated to those who’ve seen combat. First responders and victims of sexual or physical assault also contend with PTSD. For example, those whose safety is compromised or perceived to be in jeopardy, being at risk of contracting a deadly virus, are also prone to develop the condition.
Those who develop PTSD require both treatment and continued support to manage the condition. Individuals who are left to their own devices often self-medicate to manage their symptoms, which can lead to further complications like alcohol and substance use disorders. A significant number of men and women working programs of addiction recovery also have co-occurring PTSD.
Now, maybe more than ever, it’s critical to shine a light on post-traumatic stress—its causes, symptoms, and available treatments. June is PTSD Awareness Month! While the month is coming to a close, there is always time to raise awareness about the mental health condition and spread the word that therapy is available, and recovery is possible.
The National Center for PTSD reports that about 8 million people in the United States live with PTSD. Again, while the annual observance is in its 12th hour, you can help people suffering from this treatable mental illness year-round. You can utilize social media to share facts and encourage community members to seek help and let them know that they are not alone. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs writes:
“Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Help us spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.”
Southern California Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
Hope By The Sea specializes in treating men and women who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders like PTSD. We give our clients the tools to lead a life in recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders, and any co-occurring mental illness impacting their lives.
It’s essential that addiction and any form of mental illness are treated simultaneously to ensure successful outcomes. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you or a loved one. Hope Starts Here!