In light of the devastation and suffering from the aftermath Hurricane Sandy, this list is offered to help individuals understand Disaster Reactions.
This list is not exhaustive but will help show some of the reactions you might experience.
Coping with Disaster Stress
1. Stay active. Falling into passivity can worsen psychological and physical disaster reactions.
2. Resume a normal routine as soon as possible.
3. Remind yourself that reactions you're having are considered part of the trauma cycle. It's especially important to teach children that these reactions are "normal".
5. Talk about your experience.
6. It's okay to spend some time by yourself, or on the other hand, feel the need to be with others.
7. Avoid over-exposure to media images and newscasts.
8. Realize those around you are also under stress and may not react in a manner you'd normally expect.
9. Understand that chaos may be the "new normal" and that a return to stability may be days, week or months away.
10. Make decisions that will give you the control over your life.
If you find that post-trauma stress, depression or anxiety is too much for you to handle on your own, reach out for help. If you live in the ground zero or hard hit areas of Super Storm Sandy, there will be mental health support service personnel on stand-by, and there is always help found at The American Red Cross.
Dr. Deborah Serani, author of the award winning ”Living with Depression” by Rowman and Littlefield, is a go-to expert on the subject of depression.