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Las Vegas therapist talks post-COVID stress disorder

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Posted at 7:43 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-27 11:19:03-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — During PTSD Awareness month, mental health experts are warning about a new kind of disorder -- post-COVID stress syndrome.

Bianca McCall is the founder and CEO of Desert Rose Counseling Group in Las Vegas. She says trauma is defined by any experience that changes our relationship with ourselves or the world, and the pandemic is enough of a stressor to do that.

“COVID stress syndrome is characterized by a fear of infection, fear of touching objects that may be contaminated. Xenophobia, we’re also seeing that where there’s a fear that people that are not from our region are carrying the virus,” said McCall. “It remains to be seen if COVID stress syndrome is an adjustment disorder that will subside or if it will become chronic for some individuals and manifest into post-traumatic stress disorder.”

MORE HELP: Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

McCall says we should be looking for changes in behavior, even delayed physical responses to stress like nausea, elevated heartbeat, headaches and tremors.

McCall is also concerned about secondary stress disorder, specifically for health care and frontline workers who have taken on other people’s grief and trauma.

McCall says we are on the brink of a potential mental health crisis and that there needs to be more affordable mental health resources available.

As a response to the pandemic, Desert Rose Counseling Group launched an online platform with affordable counseling and tools to help with mental fitness.