By Sybil Cummin, MA, LPC, ACS
To wear a mask or not to wear a mask. This is the question.
For many areas of the world right now, masks are required to enter businesses or to return to work. On the one occasion that I forgot my mask in my car, I felt the judgment and evil eyes searing into me. And I get it. We are facing something that we have never seen in my lifetime. A real threat to our health and the health of our loved ones. No matter what you believe, that masks are stupid and not helping anyone, that we have lost many of our freedoms, that this pandemic is a hoax, masks are going to be a fashion accessory for some time.
But what if wearing a mask is not just an inconvenience or a bit uncomfortable for you? What if the feeling of your hot breath and lack of oxygen intake causes extreme fear? Well, if you have been smothered or choked by an abusive partner, then the feeling of a mask covering your face preventing you from breathing naturally can be the trigger of a flashback or anxiety attack.