After this is over

PTSD after The Pandemic

Chrissie Morris Brady Ph.D.May 2 ยท 3 min read

We need to have meaning in our lives

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

When this lockdown is safely over, when we can at last emerge from our places of shelter, there will be another pandemic waiting. It will be mental health and will have to be managed by psychologists.

Those who can are starting to use psychotherapeutic services offered online. These reach a small number of people and are offered in cultures that value modern psychology. Of course, not everyone is among this group in any society. These forms of emergency therapy are largely designed to treat symptoms and not causes.

While there is not one simple cause of an pandemic, I believe that it can be understood as the result of abuse of the Earth that sustains life. Extreme overpopulation by the human species. Deforestation and last but not least, abuse and commodification of women and girls in all the countries of the planet.

In the non-United States, where the current occupant of the White House repeatedly performs his contempt for women as leaders or even followers, he also does not conceal his delight in those females who are sexualized, objectified and prostitutes. In Costa Rica, early opening has emphasized making available the Hoteles de Paso or brothels. Prostitution is big business and represent a large portion of the tourist-based income. Everywhere on the planet women are subject to violence, sexualization and trafficking.

The psychological crisis must not be called a war. Instead it will be an existential crisis, dealing with the loss of safety and security, of the seemed predictability of life and a serious loss of faith. These will, for many of us, be replaced or accompanied by enormous grief. We will get mired in this grief and fear, unable to move on as it grabs us. Psychologists call this reaction Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The symptoms that we are about to experience in enormous numbers, panic attacks feelings of suicide are not so much an illness as they are the result of severe injury to us all. While psychology may be useful in controlling the big symptoms, meaning/mattering is a deeper and long lasting answer. Many studies have demonstrated that those who survive severe illness, injury or trauma are able to make meaning. They begin to live on a mattering map and find life satisfaction.

So consider deeply what really matters to you and what your purpose is to be in your life. Commit to it and live it. Mattering is a force stronger than we realise. It is a force that binds us together as a species just as gravity binds us to the planet. That force is genetic, biological, psychological and interpersonal and transnational. As gravity keeps us on this earth, so mattering is the force that keeps us together in life.

Many of us already have that sense that we matter. We have built resilience after trauma already. Our lives are full of meaning and we have found lockdown relatively easy. We will be the ones who lead the way to healing, psychologists or not.

Meaning and mattering are not to do with popularity or how many people like us. They are deeply spiritual, a part of ourselves, our identity. The core of our being.


Kaschak, E. The mattering map: morphing and multiplicity. In Bruns, C.



Some people are not happy unless they are causing trouble for others, Fortunately, truth is on my side. I have never been in trouble with the police ever. Unlike some former neighbours who don’t even answer the door to the police when they knock wanting to arrest someone.

Others find happiness in friendships and making other people’s lives easier. I know I do. I enjoy doing what I can for my friends, any act of kindness is a blessing. Even a smile.

Smile at others always. Be helpful always. Serve others. Appreciate them.

I think there is kind of self made hell for those who send poison pen letters. What miserable lives they must lead in order to do that. Especially lies. Lies are evil.

Thank God I have so many friends. It’s been hard to keep up since lockdown. Some are more outgoing than others. We have started virtual poetry events. It’s a bit strange, but it works. So I’m in touch with my poet friends as well as being published again.

On the whole, life is good. The weather is great, and my garden is wonderful.