Concerns Over Rising PTSD Cases In Health Care Workers Fighting On The Front Line Of The Coronavirus Crisis

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Dr. Lakesha Legree wears many hats. A wife, mother and general anesthesiologist. She also suffers from depression.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for us to overcome the stigma and shame associated with depression. To say, hey I’m a physician I have depression and I have PTSD because the stigma or the assumption is that you’re not capable of doing your job,” says Dr. Legree.

She says many physicians and nurses suffer in silence. Dr. Legree founded wellness center Elev8 MD. She says since the coronavirus crisis started:

“I’ve actually had an increase in the volume of patients seeking alternative, fast-acting care for depression and PTSD. Sadly, it’s been a large population of physicians and nurses.”

She says even before the coronavirus, there was a problem.

“With COVID there’s an exacerbation of anxiety and trauma, PTSD. So the numbers are just going to increase sadly.”

What can you do to help? It sounds simple, but Dr. Legree says it is very effective.

” I think people calling to say, are you OK? Can I do anything for you? Or just thank you kind of opens the door to let the physician know, you know what I’m here or you can let your guard down with me.”

Her message to healthcare workers:

“It’s OK to not be OK, give yourself a little bit of grace to take five minutes or 10 minutes or 15 minutes on your shift to go into a corner and just be still, just be quiet, just breathe. Because sometimes that reset is what you need.”