Information overload

ZS Archives | Information overload

Whether the information is accurate or not, we get flooded with hundreds of articles, newspaper clippings and radio ads all relating to the virus. It is not that you shouldn’t stay updated, but too much of anything is never a good thing.

With the latest survey conducted by SADAG (South African Depression & Anxiety group), they have noted that 59% of people felt stressed before the lockdown and 65% of people who took part in the survey said that they felt very stressed during the lockdown.

Other statistical data regarding the effects of lockdown revealed that 55% feel enormous amounts of anxiety, 46% of people felt financial stress and pressure. 40% of people felt depressed and 6% declared usage of substance abuse during the lockdown.

When stressful events occur it is normal to experience some form of trauma about the event or situation. Whether it was a hijacking, natural disaster or a pandemic. The after-effects following such an event are usually met with shock, confusion, fear and feelings of numbness towards what’s going on. You may even experience a range of emotions all at once.

However, with our round-the-clock news and social media platforms, friends and family as well as yourself can be bombarded with horrific stories of tragedy, thus leaving with you with no means of escape. Repeated exposure will overwhelm your nervous system and leave you with traumatic stress.

Stress will not only overwhelm your mind but your body too. There is a direct correlation between stress and a weaker immune system. Research has shown over and over again that in times of extreme stress the body’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. Our stress hormone called corticosteroid can suppress the overall effectiveness in the immune system by lowering several lymphocytes.

Along with traumatic stress comes a shattered sense of security, leaving you feeling helpless and extremely vulnerable. At this point, you may experience feelings such as being physically or emotionally drained. And if someone you know and love has passed away during this time, you might feel a strong sense of grief and find it difficult to function, sleep, eat or control your emotions. Rest assured, these are all normal responses to abnormal events.

After experiencing unsettling events or crisis’s, the thoughts and feelings of traumatic stress eventually fade as life normalizes. This may occur weeks or months after such an event. It is important not to lose hope because there’s a lot you can do to support your recovery and regain emotional balance.

Jul 30, 2020

Coping with Lockdown related trauma

With the start of the national lockdown, citizens have reportedly been dealing with copious amounts of anxiety, depression, loneliness and feelings of an overwhelming nature. The […]