New research finds troubling levels of PTSD caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

The extensive fearfulness related to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial rise in patients suffering from psychiatric conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among many populations, according to new research released in PLOS One.

After surveying over 1,000 participants from numerous nations in the western hemisphere during the pandemic, researchers at Flinders University uncovered that as much as 13 percent of the participants had reported symptoms that met the criteria for PTSD.

The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-5 test was given to the participants to assess post-traumatic and emotional reactions related to the pandemic. Triggers for purported PTSD symptoms were induced by the constant worry of oneself or a relative contracting COVID-19.

As explained in the findings: “We found participants had PTSD-like symptoms for events that had not happened and when participants had been directly (e.g., contact with virus) or indirectly exposed to COVID-19 (e.g., via media).”

“Our findings support emerging research that COVID-19 can be understood as a traumatic stressor event capable of eliciting PTSD-like responses and exacerbating other related mental health problems (e.g., anxiety, depression, psychosocial functioning, etc.),” the authors implied in their findings.

“Our findings add to existing literature supporting a pathogenic event memory model of traumatic stress.”

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with the study.

Image courtesy of Getty Images
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