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Managing Traumatic Stress after a Natural Disaster

It is not uncommon for people who have gone through a traumatic experience to have a strong emotional reaction to the event. Natural disasters create a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for those directly and indirectly involved. During the days and weeks following a disaster, you may begin to have some of these common reactions:

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Difficulty making decisions and concentrating
  • Irritability and anger
  • Sadness and depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Changes in eating habits; loss of appetite or overeating

It is normal to have trouble managing your emotions after an event, but not doing anything about it can be very harmful to your mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips on coping:

  • Talk about it
  • Take care of yourself
  • Limit exposure to images of the disaster
  • Find time for activities you enjoy
  • Take one thing at a time
  • Do something positive
  • Ask for help when you need it
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