All agree that there are significant effects of natural disasters to your mental health. Whether it is a fire, hurricane or earthquake, they all pose threats to your mental stability. They are all considered traumas that you never want to experience again.
It is never easy to recover from a disaster especially when you lose someone or your home. Aside from ensuring the safety of yourself and your family, you need to think right away on how to pick up the pieces of your life and to start anew.
What are the effects of natural disasters on your mental health?
The mere thought of starting from the very beginning is already exhausting mentally and emotionally. It is difficult to make sense of everything that happened. It is tragic, devastating and stressful for all people involved.
1. Difficulty sleeping
You know how important sleeping is for your health but once your mind is bothered by something, sleep will never come easy. You will feel restless and preoccupied all the time. You want to sleep but your mind refuses. When you finally sleep, you will have nightmares or recurring images of the event. Without sleep, you will have trouble concentrating and making important decisions.
2. Changes in eating pattern
It is either you are eating less or more than your usual amount. Recovering from a disaster demands you to be healthy and to nourish yourself. If you choose, or even forget, to eat because you are too busy or too upset, you are putting yourself in harm. You know very well the importance of food to your mental health and without it you are angry, irritable and annoyed most of the time. Remember, good food boosts your mood.
3. Anxious and scared of the future
It is normal to be sad and devastated because it is a tragic event but once your feelings turn into anxiety and depression, you need to do something. No one is ever prepared for a natural disaster but it will not help you in any way if you keep on feeling sorry for yourself and scared of how you will survive. It is imperative that you plan right away on what your life will be after a disaster.
4. Isolating yourself from other people
For no particular reason, you feel guilty or powerless for not doing something to protect your family from a disaster. You want to be by yourself because you do not want people to see you cry or break down. You want to isolate yourself because this tragedy is just too much for you to handle right now. You do want to see other people because of guilt, shame and disappointment.
5. Excessive smoking, drinking and using of drugs
Tragedies, particularly natural disasters, can cause negative changes in your mood and behavior. Many people resort to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and even using drugs to cope up with the tragic event. You need to understand that none of these habits will help you overcome your situation. These will just make things worse.
How will you handle the effects of natural disasters on your mental health?
There are no perfect ways to combat mental health issues after experiencing a natural disaster. People cope up with bad events in their lives differently. But you have to keep in mind that you are a survivor and a fighter.
1. Assess your situation
Look around you and see the intensity of the damage. You need to come up immediately with a plan that will keep your family safe and comfortable. If you need to find a temporary place, do it right away. Find food and other necessities. Coordinate with your local officials and listen attentively to what they recommend for you to do.
2. Nourish your body
Food and sleep are the last things on your mind now because you just want to do something about it right away. In order for you to make good decisions, you need to nourish your body. Eat healthy food and get enough sleep. You do not have to find solutions to your problems in one day. Give your body and mind a rest so that you can come up with better judgments.
3. Stay away from bad habits
On top of eating and sleeping well, you also must stay away from excessive smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. These will only increase episodes of anxiety and depression. Take care of your body as well as your mind because there are people who are depending on you.
4. Talk it with your family
It is not only you who are greatly affected by this disaster but also your spouse and most especially, your children. Talk this out with them and pay attention to what they say. They are also traumatized and have to deal with overcoming their negative experience.
5. Ask for help
When everything becomes unbearable and difficult, talking with a qualified therapist or psychologist is a big help. Nothing is more helpful than attending a therapy near me or counseling sessions that will help you deal with the situation. This is an effective way of handling the effects of natural disasters on your mental health.
Mindshift Psychological Services offer therapy near me sessions for people who experienced traumatic situations such as a natural disaster. Its Trauma Therapy ensures your healing and growth. Other services include Depression Therapy near me, Family Therapy and Psychotherapy for Individuals.
If you want to schedule an appointment, visit their website or contact them at (714) 584-9700.