Learn about coping with grief and the unique losses associated with coronavirus and how this invisible enemy represents both a trauma as well as a variety of losses. Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes will explore how to recognize symptoms of grief and trauma in yourself and others as well as strategies that can help you reduce the impact of the situation on your physical and mental health.

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Grief, Trauma and the Coronavirus
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Objectives
 Identify the unique losses associated with coronavirus
 Explore symptoms of trauma and grief
 Identify ways to address trauma and grief related to the coronavirus
Trauma
 A traumatic event is any event that causes physical or emotional harm to a person directly or through seeing it happen to other people.
 Coronavirus, cancer, influenza, and car accidents will each kill tens of thousands of people this year.
 606,520 Americans will die of cancer in 2020
 80,000 Americans died of the flu in 2018
 38,000 Americans died from car accidents in 2019
 67,300 Americans died from drug overdoses 2018
 Coronavirus is traumatic for a wider swath of people because we are ALL seeing it ALL DAY.
Complex Grief
 Death
 Closure
 Grief support
 Social connections
 Camraderie of colleagues
 more…
Grief Basics
 It is a normal reaction to a loss
 Grief reactions differ based on
 Prior experiences
 Age
 The number of losses associated with the event
 Social support availability
 Prior stressors in the past 6 months
 History of mental illness or addiction
Common Physical Reactions to Grief
 Sleep changes
 Eating changes
 Reduced libido
 Increased muscle tension
 Increased pain
 GI disturbances
 Developmental regression in children
Common Emotions Associated with Grief
 Agitation/Restlessness
 Anger
 Anxiety/Fear/Worry
 Apathy/Numbness
 Betrayal
 Depression/ Sadness/ Hopelessness
 Disbelief – trouble accepting the reality
 Guilt
 For not doing enough
 For being healthy
 For not planning for this
 Helplessness
 Impatience
 Loneliness
 Shock
 Thankfulness
 Uncertainty
 Uselessness/worthlessness
 Weakness – frail, powerless
Common Cognitive Reactions
 Difficulties in concentrating
 Continuously thinking about the loss
 Excessive searching for answers
 Difficulty making decisions
 Difficulty with problem solving
Social Reactions
 Trying to stay constantly active
 Blaming others
 Social withdrawal or clinginess
 Being aggressive or irritable, getting more arguments
 Increased “acting out” or “disorganization” in children
 Changes in play with themes of loss in children

How to Cope with Covid Grief and Trauma
 Accept your feelings without judgement
 Identify the losses you are experiencing or thoughts you are having that are triggering those feelings
 Ensure you are using fact-based reasoning
 How at risk are you and your loved ones of getting sick, of financial instability, homelessness
 What resources are available to you
 What parts of the situation do you have control over
 Identify any past issues this situation might be triggering
 Identify the reactions you are having and address them individually
 Be compassionate with yourself
 Identify the meanings behind the symptoms or behaviors
 Each time you have a thought about something you can’t do, identify what you can do instead
Summary
 Coronavirus has caused people to experience a combination of both grief and trauma.
 There is no magic cure for grief, and until we are able to start to find our new normal, many people will struggle with the loss of control and lack of answers.

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