Mental Health Therapy for Frontline Workers

Behavioral Health and Trauma Recovery Services, P.C., helps individuals on a daily basis cope with the fact that none of us were prepared for the global pandemic we find ourselves in. Not parents, teachers, and certainly not the healthcare workers and other first responders around the country. Doctors and nurses suddenly found themselves working double shifts to care for sick people. As the rest of the world went into lockdown and people stayed home, safe and sound, these frontline workers showed up day after day, putting their health and life on the line.

Many, in an effort to keep their families safe, found other living arrangements. The idea of possibly exposing their family to something they may have been exposed to at work was too much of a risk, and so many mothers and fathers also had to deal with the stress and sadness of being away from their family during the height of the pandemic.

While many frontline workers appear stoic, all of this stress and fear took its toll, even on the bravest among us. As a result, many frontline workers have found themselves burnt out and experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as symptoms of posttraumatic stress.

Are you experiencing these symptoms?

It’s common for everyone to feel stressed or sad from time to time. But when certain symptoms linger, and start to impact your functioning, then you may be dealing with a more significant stress reaction.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness
  • A lack of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Sleep disruption (either sleeping too much or too little)
  • Appetite disruption (eating too much or too little)
  • Difficulty focusing
  • A loss of enjoyment of previous hobbies or activities
  • A desire to isolate and seclude from others
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Agitation/Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tense muscles
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Irrational fears

Symptoms of a posttraumatic stress reaction may include:

  • Intrusive thoughts or images related to what you have been exposed to as part of your job
  • Low frustration tolerance and Irritability
  • Feeling alert, on-guard, and quick to react – even when not at work
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping, which may include sleep disruption due to worry thoughts and/or nightmares
  • Low mood, decreased interest, and feeling numb
  • Negativistic thoughts, to include pessimism and more generalized thoughts that the world is not a safe place, people in general cannot be trusted, and that you have little if any power/control over your current circumstances.
  • A desire to be alone, and you may not want to engage with others. Feeling detached; this may include difficulty with intimacy.
  • Avoidance of work, or any reminders of work

Is it time to seek therapy?

For many healthcare workers, or other first responders, all of their time and focus is on how they can help others. The idea of self-care and asking others for help is not something on their radar.

If you are a healthcare worker or other first responder that is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or a posttraumatic stress reaction, it’s really important that you let someone else help you right now.

To learn more and get started with counseling services, please contact us today, we would love to hear from you!