Psychologist Harris Stratyner said the fear of Ebola especially is very real in the general population — and has increased to such an extent that he’s coined the term “Ebola Anxiety Syndrome.”
“People are starting to get frightened, and their imaginations are telling them that maybe ISIS is putting biological warfare out there, and maybe they’re causing this Ebola virus,” said Stratyner, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine,who has offices in Yonkers and Westchester.
The tragedy of Sept. 11 left a sense of uncertainty in its wake, he said.
On top of the worry that anything could happen here, he said, people also tend to become overwhelmed with 24-hour news coverage of Ebola. “The reality is the United States has taken tremendous precautions in emergency rooms, at airports, and the spread of Ebola should also not be used as political fodder for politicians to talk about borders and to talk about ISIS,” he said.
In order to calm down, people need to put things in perspective, and just live their lives.
“You really have to have contact with people with Ebola to get it, and you really need to understand that just because we’ve seen a couple of cases in Texas doesn’t mean it’s coming to a neighborhood near you,” said Stratyner.