The Silent Pandemic: Unveiling the Surge in PTSD Rates After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted By: Amanda Beck Clinical Practice,

a yellow paper doll looks worried, surrounded by newspaper headline cutouts reading "news" "vaccine" "COVID" and more

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a concerning surge in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has emerged, shedding light on the profound impact the global health crisis has had on mental health. Recent statistics underscore the alarming increase in PTSD cases among adults and children, revealing a pressing need for awareness and support. Studies conducted in the aftermath of the pandemic reveal a significant increase in PTSD cases, leading clinicians to scramble for effective evidence-based trainings to treat trauma.

To compound this issue, studies have been published that indicate individuals with PTSD are less likely to survive Covid-19 if infected and more likely to require hospitalization, become hospitalized, or die as a result of the virus.  Individuals who did not have a previous diagnosis of PTSD are also more likely to acquire the disorder after intensive hospitalization due to COVID-19. 

Considering 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma at some point in their lives, it is likely that most clinicians will encounter PTSD at some point in their careers.  As a result, it’s important for clinicians to be skilled in treatment techniques that can help reduce PTSD symptoms and increase coping for individuals in their practice. Effective treatment options aim to alleviate symptoms and restore mental well-being. Psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is a widely utilized approach. It helps individuals reframe negative thought patterns and process traumatic memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another technique that focuses on targeted eye movements to facilitate trauma processing. Written Exposure Therapy (WET) is also an emerging evidence-based approach for the treatment of PTSD.  Complimentary techniques like yoga and mindfulness, offer additional support.  Tailored treatment plans empower individuals on their path to recovery.

To learn more about PTSD, assessment, interventions, and treatment for individuals experiencing trauma be sure to check out the webinar “Written Exposure Treatment for PTSD” with Dr. Caleb Lack. For clinicians who may be unsure about the most research-supported treatment modality to use, check out the recorded webinar “Evidenced-Based Treatment for PTSD” to help identify which treatments are considered the gold standard, which have mixed support, and how to spot those treatments that are not supported by research. 


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