The psychological scars of COVID-19 will likely outlast the pandemic itself and a doctor says we must be mindful of the toll it's taken on our mental health.
"If you have seen really horrific things, and some of us have through this pandemic, it's normal to be anxious. It's normal to be depressed," says Dr. William Haseltine, a Doctor of Philosophy and author of 12 books, including three books on COVID.
He says we've all been traumatized in many different ways from this pandemic and the psychological scars don't just disappear.
"It's like a war. When you come home from a war, the war is over. But it's not over for you. We've learned that through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," he explained.
Recent statistics prove he's right.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over the last year, four in 10 adults in the United States have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, which is a dramatic increase from the one in 10 reported in 2019.
"People are much more anxious and are likely to be anxious, they're much more likely to have long-term depression," he said.
Haseltine says another long-term issue of the pandemic is long COVID, affecting many people all across the world.
"Fifty-two perfect of people in Norway between the ages of 16 and 30 suffer from long COVID and that's chronic fatigue, anxiety, mental issues including memory loss," he explained.
Children are also feeling the effects of this pandemic.
"Pediatric social workers and pediatric psychiatrists are reporting their huge uptick in very serious mental issues of children anywhere from the age of four to 15 or 16, including suicidal ideation in kids as young as 10," he said.
So Haseltine feels we need to add more social workers in schools to help our kids recover and create a reimbursable diagnostic group called COVID-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"I think that would make the biggest difference in society because then you engage the Social Work Community and the medical community in trying to give the help that people need," Haseltine explained.
Dr. Haseltine's most recent books include:
- "Covid-related Traumatic Stress Disorder! What it is and what to do about it"
- "A Family Guide to Covid: Questions & Answers for Parents, Grandparents and Children"
- "Variants! The Shape-Shifting Challenge of Covid-19"
To order his books and read his COVID Commentaries, click here.