Being on tour for 5 weeks was a wake-up call to just how traumatized we all are as a nation. No one is at their best, and I found myself choosing grace over and over again for myself and others because we're all still recovering from the past several years of cultural and personal trauma. Although I'm not a health professional, I don't think the theory that we're all suffering from a mild case of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome is far from the truth.
The Mayo Clinic has a list of PTSD symptoms that may sound familiar. While some categories cover intense responses to triggers from the traumatic event(s), others include negative thought-patterns and moods as well as challenging physical and emotional responses to stress. Let's take a look at some of those, many of which also relate to depression:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
Another article published on the Veteran's Affairs website addresses negative coping skills related to the syndrome, such as avoiding others, feeling guarded, and working too much.
I'm not proposing that we are collectively experiencing PTSD, but rather that we can benefit from the following recovery methods Mental Health America suggests:
Connect with friends and family.
Get enough rest.
Keep a journal.
- Limit TV watching.
How many symptoms do you have? How many of the recovery methods are you using? If your symptoms outnumber your coping mechanisms, now may be the time to get moving, connecting, and learning to really live again.