Trauma & Disaster

The effect of trauma or disaster lasts long after the event itself. Trauma and stress elevate the risk for mental illness and mental disorders and as such, it is important to have appropriate coping skills to deal with a traumatic event.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Traumatic events often cause feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and agression.
  • It will take time before you start to feel better.
  • There are many things you can do to cope with traumatic events, including talking to family, friends, and clergy for support.
  • You may need to consider seeking professional help if you feel sad or depressed for more than two weeks, or if you are not able to take care of your family or do your job.

The CDC also offers some guidelines if you are coping with trauma or a disaster related event:

  • Follow a normal routine as much as possible
  • Eat healthy meals; be careful not to skip meals or conversely, overeat
  • Exercise and stay active
  • Help other people in your community as a volunteer.  It is important to stay busy
  • Accept help from family, friends, co-workers, or clergy.  Talk about your feelings with them.
  • Limit your time around the sights and sounds of what happened.  Don’t dwell on TV, radio, or newspaper reports on the tragedy

Also, it is important to take the initiative to reach out if the stress becomes overwhelming. Be sure to ask for help if you are experiencing any of the following stress-related warning signs:

  • Are not able to take care of yourself or your family
  • Are not able to do your job
  • Use alcohol or drugs to get away from your problems
  • Feel sad or depressed for more than two weeks
  • Think about suicide

For more information, please see the following website: emergency.cdc.gov/mentalhealth