CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The changes due to the coronavirus can impact our lives far beyond a viral illness. Emergency medicine providers say it's also a prime time for a rise in suicides and domestic violence.
After several traumatic life events, Mary Langford says she feels lucky to be alive.
"I attempted suicide several times, two times very dramatically. One time, I drove myself 250 feet off a cliff in Malibu, California, and another time, I overdosed on 90 Prozac and 27 Klonopin, which were both psychiatric prescriptions," Langford said.
Now, along with Katherine Ebacher, who specializes in holistic healing and helping people overcome trauma and abuse, the two of them want us to know the changes happening all around us due to the coronavirus can do damage that is far greater to us than the physical symptoms of a viral illness.
"Traumas can happen at any time. They can be the big traumas that you hear about -- the sexual abuse, the physical abuse -- but they can simply be financial downturns," Ebacher said.
Job and money loss, along with family obligations, can lead to everything from increased alcohol abuse to suicides and domestic violence, according to those on the frontlines of emergency medicine.Dr. Kevin Joseph says already his team has changed screening for those who come in for emergency care -- and not just with coronavirus symptoms.
"Every patient that gets registered is asked the question: Do you feel safe at home? Occasionally, a patient will say no, and that starts a different cascade of evaluation of that patient -- the circumstances they're under, the environment they're living in. But we do look at that question," Dr. Joseph said.
Ebacher and Langford say the rest of us need to be paying attention to the risk of these symptoms. Any one of us can experience these during this stressful time personally or in those we love.
Langford knows that.
"I began drinking alcohol fairly early, and when I was 30, I got sober, and at 32, I started showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress," Langford said.
Taking care of your physical health, talking to safe people and even asking your doctor about medical support are all ways of coping right now.
Langford says remember this in stressful times:
"Some of the greatest gifts in my life have come in some crappy-looking packages."