Last week, an alarming announcement was made out of Dallas; the United States diagnosed the first case of Ebola virus. For months we have followed the infinite spreading of the virus that has killed thousands in West Africa as the government and aid workers try hard but fall short in efforts to contain it. Now, with the virus in America, fears been heightened, and the health we may have taken for granted becomes extra valuable to us.
Illnesses like the early 2000 SARS epidemic; the H1N1 Flu pandemic; or the Ebola outbreak can not only destroy our physical health, but the fear and trauma of this diagnosis can debilitate emotional and mental health as well. Because our physical health is so closely connected with our mental health, disease and epidemics carry with them a huge emotional and mental health impact. For those in Africa, Ebola has destroyed entire families, as those left behind struggle to cope with the loss and devastation.
Epidemics and outbreaks may even provoke anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The fear of contracting the disease leads to excessive and actions and irrational behaviors. The fears and anxieties can become overwhelming and interfere with enjoying daily life.
Many survivors of deadly diseases suffer long after they are physically better. According to the World Health Organization Ebola has a survivor rate of only 50%; therefore this diagnosis feels like a death sentence for many. Posttraumatic stress disorder may develop after a brush with a life-threatening illness.
The same anxiety, depression and stress even extends to a more common diagnosis such as breast cancer. Although cancer treatment is consistently improving, it is still chilling diagnosis for many women, particularly because most all of us know someone who has suffered through it.
Even after one is discharged from a hospital and labeled healthy and cured, many may still have a long rode ahead of them before they are recovered and strong mentally and emotionally. Brookhaven Retreat helps women find renewed peace and establish the stability that was once destroyed by a widespread epidemic or a personal health crisis.