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Texas Tech psychiatrist warns of lasting emotional impact from coronavirus, offers tips to help

EL PASO, Texas -- Some medical professionals are warning of another possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic: the long-term psychological impact it could leave behind.

Psychiatrist Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado with Texas Tech University says many could experience trauma from the pandemic. Healthcare professionals on the front lines could be the most at risk.

"This is very similar to the soldiers in war," Dr. Delgado said. "They are confronted with life and death situations, so this is the same thing as our medical professionals in emergency rooms or the hospital. They are seeing very similar situations."

Dr. Delgado says the trauma we might experience might not impact us until later on. He says that's due to the fact many are experiencing a fight-or-flight response currently, which allows us to act quickly during dangerous situations.

"We might have some increase in PTSD in the future," Dr. Delgado said. "This is a very stressful situation. This is going to be probably traumatic, and we see this with any kind of tragedy."

Dr. Delgado recommends we communicate with each other and open up about the emotions we are experiencing. He also recommends prioritizing our sleep and nutrition. He says these feelings are natural, and to be expected.

If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression regarding the pandemic, the CDC recommends calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / Education / El Paso / News / Video

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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