COVID-19 traumatic stress may predict PTSD

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

In a new study from Georgia State University, researchers found the pandemic has taken a substantial toll on mental health—and for a subset of Americans, COVID has emerged as a source of traumatic stress that may predict post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

They found that the association between COVID traumatic stress and PTSD is stronger among individuals who have repeated experiences of past trauma.

While many people are insulated from deaths and economic hardships related to the pandemic, there is a universal experience of fear, concern for others and social isolation.

The new findings showed that the experience of COVID-19 is a traumatic stress. It isn’t just triggering earlier trauma, it’s a traumatic experience in and of itself.

In the study, the team surveyed 745 individuals to examine the COVID‐19 traumatic stress and cumulative trauma in the prediction of PTSD symptoms.

They revealed a positive and strong link between COVID traumatic stress and PTSD symptoms, suggesting that the pandemic is a unique traumatic stressor.

There is a relationship between cumulative trauma and PTSD, and there is a link between COVID traumatic stress and PTSD.

And except for Asian Americans, people who have more cumulative trauma are more likely to experience COVID-19 as a traumatic stressor.

For Asian Americans who experienced COVID traumatic stress, higher levels of cumulative trauma did not appear to worsen PTSD symptoms.

The results emphasize the importance of examining subgroups in the community for potential exacerbating—or buffering—effects of COVID stress on mental health outcomes.

The team says although COVID-19 has not impacted all people equally or in the same ways, it is a unique shared experience.

People are all compromised by this prolonged and ongoing traumatic stress, even if we haven’t experienced PTSD.

If you care about Covid, please read studies about who has the highest risk of heart damage in COVID-19, and blood thinner drug that can lower death risk caused by COVID-19.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about your maximum risks of COVID infection with and without masks, and results showing that some Americans with COVID-19 get deadly ‘black fungus’ disease.

The study is published in the Journal of Community Psychology and was conducted by Jeff Ashby et al.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.