General PTSD and fear of coronavirus

Sweetpea76

Moderator
@Never_falter2 some of our churches refused to close at all. People are screaming about their constitutional rights to assemble and their freedom of religion. Our governor exempted churches from closing because of that. There is a huge mega-church nearby that refuses to close, and hundreds (or more) go to services every Sunday and Wednesday... because, you know, f*ck everybody else in this part of the state. We’re gonna spread the virus near and far because Jesus and ‘Merica *pew pew pew*.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
@Lionheart777 So happy you are praying too.

Thanks @Never_falter2 I don't usually pray out loud, I believe the Good Lord knows my heart and my thoughts, my needs and my prayers well enough.

And I want to add that I feel sorry for those who sacrifice their common sense for "that old time religion" and risk exposing themselves and others to a potentially deadly virus. It used to make me angry, but lately it just makes me sad.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
It’s just so nonsensical... I’m not religious, but if people are, and that’s something that comforts them, fantastic. But why not consider the greater good of the community, loving thy neighbor enough not to infect him, or maybe putting your own ego aside? Wouldn’t that be the Christian thing to do? Most of the churches have gone to virtual services... my elderly mother has even figured out how to navigate her online church service and Sunday school classes, and she can’t even check her own email.
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
My Vet is very afraid from Coronavirus, thinks his loved ones will die

Where we live we have community spread of Coronavirus but so far none of our loved ones has been infected.

My vet has always suffered from the fear that all of his loved ones would die a premature a d horrible dead. He has shared with me that he woke every morning feeling like life is a war and that everybody he cares about is going to die that very day... and than he had to fight that feeling and typically he was able to do that.

He also always was afraid of germs and contamination.

Then came Coronavirus and he had been feeling afraid right from the start. Now he feels like our whole family is dying from Coronavirus (nobody currently infected with Coronavirus) and that fear is very bad for him to the point that he feels he cannot breath and feels like is going to faint. He has shared this with me.
I try to persuade him that it is very very unlikely that everybody he loves is gonna die from Coronavirus and that most are not in the Risk group and he first sees my point... but after a while he goes.... “but what if this?“, “but what if that? Nobody can guarantee me their risk is zero percent“.... and if there isn’t the perfect roof that the risk of a loved one from Coronavirus is 0,000000% it could as well be 100%. That’s how it feels for him... like there is a 100% chance that he and everybody he deeply cares about it dead from Coronavirus tomorrow.

If I try to comfort him it only works for a while but after that he feels like this again. Especially in the morning.
He does not want to discuss this with anybody else out of fear they say he is a coward.
He currently disinfects and cleans everything that doesn’t move and works out like crazy (because he believes that is gonna safe him from dying from Coronavirus) has trouble sleeping and is not having a good time.

Any advice?
 
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Sweetpea76

Moderator
I don’t know if there is anything you can do @Never_falter2. Your husband had the germ/illness/contamination phobia before all this even started. I can’t imagine what a pandemic does for that. Is he still able to get mental health services right now? I think that’s the only thing that can help him at this point.

What about you? Are you doing OK with this? It has to be hard on you with the added stress of your husband’s mental health.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Fear of death and all the ways one can end up there is a tough one. We all will die someday. I have a friend who is super depressed and afraid about death and gets super stuck on it. Not sure you can out-logic someone out of an anxiety fueled obsession. There are several treatments that have been shown to be really effective for it though if he is willing to engage them to find some relief.
 

Friday

Moderator
I try to persuade him that it is very very unlikely that everybody he loves is gonna die from Coronavirus and that most are not in the Risk group and he first sees my point... but after a while he goes.... “but what if this?“, “but what if that? Nobody can guarantee me their risk is zero percent“.... and if there isn’t the perfect roof that the risk of a loved one from Coronavirus is 0,000000% it could as well be 100%. That’s how it feels for him... like there is a 100% chance that he and everybody he deeply cares about it dead from Coronavirus tomorrow.

You might try the opposite tack.

Instead of telling him how unlikely it is? Walk through the worst case scenario with him.

Yes. Let’s say we all get corona virus. Some of us may die. And YOU will take the survivors and be strong for them, and build a new life with them. You will carry them through their grief, and be their fierce protector. Because that’s the man you are, the man I love, the strongest and bravest man I’ve ever known.

I don’t have to be afraid. Because if we fall sick? You will fight for us. And you will protect those we both love until your dying breath. <grin> So you’d better keep breathing, hear? We need you.
 
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The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
I find is a bit unnerving about how disconnected I am from the main stream... no fear of death. It is though a reoccurring theme... being acquainted vocationally with the end of life assisting the process compassionately and honoring the life... not caring whether I lived or died... being astounded I've surpassed my own life expectancy by 2 and a half decades (so to me it's all unexpected "extra" time from then on in... and how that separates me from most people.

The isolation aspect is actually the easiest part because it's a redux for me... though not with the care of an elder parent or a shut down/depressed spouse.
 
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enough

MyPTSD Pro
I have been near death and saved by the skill of dr's several times. It left me with a common feeling among PTSD sufferers, that there is no next year, no next month, no next week. All of my adult life I have lived in a state of hypervigilance, with those around me sometimes substituting for the unseen dangers when they try to tell me I have nothing to worry about.

An example: when I am in a car I cannot just let go and trust that the driver will be as cautious and vigilant as I am. My pleading for the driver to PLEASE stop doing what to them is a safe driving practice sometimes leads to their defending their actions, and that leads to me attacking their carelessness.
Anyone that says I am crazy because I always cover the brake pedal while in a neighborhood with driveways where people could back out in front of me becomes the representative for all of those bad drivers that have or might someday pull out in front of me, and I have sometimes gone back at them with a ferocity that I would otherwise reserve for use when lives truly were at stake, here and now, right in front of me. It aint good.
(In my defense, I have a clean record, never caused an accident and have driven everything from motorcycles to ladder fire trucks. I drive as if I was invisible and never assume my right of way is sacred or that any other driver is anything but a drunk in a hurry. I COULD have a point when I criticize, better word EDUCATE another driver)

The point of all of this- for a PTSD sufferer, especially those of us that cannot in any way control the very real dangers we fear, the risk of becoming the representative of those dangers when trying to placate the fears is very real.

When I think of all of the people facing a danger they cannot do anything about (COVID) I worry that anyone seen as trying to dissuade them or make the danger seem distant or unlikely to affect them is risking the full-on wrath of a sufferer that can't do anything about a danger that they see as very real.

With a whole world of brand new sufferers of pandemic induced PTSD, there may be problems when they (we) are back in the gen pop and see examples of people acting as if there is no danger. There could be riots, battles, wars. There is already hostility and scapegoating, and the fear is very real. Time and common experiences will decide the outcome, but there are and will be growing conflicts between those in fear and those in denial already.
 
I've worried about the coronavirus enough to take the necessary precautions, such as staying at least six feet from others the best I can.

However, I haven't been overly worried, in part, because I haven't been watching the news on TV a lot. I watch it some so I can stay informed about the virus. But I don't watch so much that I start getting paranoid about it. The media often likes to scare it's viewers, no doubt.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I witnessed a confrontation between the scared and the deniers today. it was in progress when I arrived and didn't affect or endanger me in any way.
I was at a recycling center where people return bottles for deposit. People were waiting, masked and 6 feet apart for the most part but evidently someone was not being respectful and decided to defend their position when confronted and was lucky that all they got back was a mass mob expression of "do the right thing or get the f out". I use a different method to reclaim my deposits so I was walking past and didn't stop.
I am deeply concerned that what starts as a confrontation between two becomes a riot between 20 becomes a mob that overpowers the responding police becomes people getting hurt and the violence spreading. There weren't enough people at the recycling center to even get a half can of whoop-ass going but critical mass at a transit center or shopping mall? you bet.
I don't think our society has herd immunity to unlawful acts, not even close. Quite the opposite.
 
I don't want to be careless about the virus. But I don't want to over-worry about it either.

For me, their has to a balance...a happy medium. And so far, I've succeeded at that.
 
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