Natural calamities bring emotional damage to millions of people every year, leaving them to survive. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, tornadoes, floods, and human-caused tragedies are only some of the calamities that destroy our homes and lives. Even with preparations made for natural calamities, there is nothing we can do to stop the destruction completely.
Coping With Natural Disasters
Statistics say that these disasters lead to millions of lives lost and economic devastation. However, what is not accounted for is the psychological effect of dealing with disaster. Some people who are left in the turmoil of these difficult times of disasters have lost their homes, families, friends, and even their entire way of life.
These disasters often impact children and adolescents’ mental health. According to the Mental Health Services Administration, one of the most common psychological effects brought about by this is post-traumatic stress disorder.
Disaster Coping Guide
Dealing with a disaster or traumatic event is not easy. Anyone who has been exposed to a terrifying or life-threatening traumatic event, such as a disaster, can develop mental health concerns related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder can manifest immediately once the disaster has happened but in some cases, it can develop much later. For months or even years, people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder will still be haunted by these traumatic events, to the point that their daily routine becomes significantly impeded. “People who have PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and strong overwhelming feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic disaster has ended,” explains Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H. “They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.”
Victims Can Develop PTSD
Surviving Natural Calamities
According to the Anxiety and Depressions Association of America, listed below are some of the apparent reasons and common signs and symptoms of PTSD while dealing with natural disasters:
- Physical health symptoms of anxiety such as inability to think clearly, sweating, and a racing heartbeat
- Experiencing flashbacks regarding traumatic memories
- Changes in an individual’s routines and eating patterns
- It leads to people avoiding interactions with others, even on social media
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping or getting enough rest due to strange dreams or constant nightmares
- Having angry outbursts on a regular basis
- Being aggressive or violent
- Lack of concentration leads to difficulty in completing a tremendous amount of tasks
- Inability to retain or remember information
Every person experiences different disaster symptoms with limited exposure to other involved substance abuse and mental health concerns. The phase for PTSD usually lasts for six months, but others face this disorder for years. It’s important that they deal with it among their family and friends.
Natural Therapy Treatment Strategies For Individuals Dealing With PTSD Symptoms
When it comes to coping with disasters and disaster coping strategies, most crisis counseling treatments and other resources for PTSD follow a conventional support approach. These treatments include the use of prescription medications and drugs, which are believed to support and help PTSD patients deal with their extreme emotions and feelings such as social isolation, sadness, anger, anxiety, and lack of motivation. However, some people do not like this kind of mechanism. They opt to establish and engage in natural treatments since they don’t want to experience disastrous effects from using medications.
Guided Imagery Treatment For PTSD
This strategy helps PTSD patients to focus on mental images to bring out the feeling of relaxation. This approach is based on the concept of the mind-body connection that improves both physical and emotional health. Ilene A. Serlin Ph.D. wrote, “Trauma is the “speechless terror” characterized, by frozen effect, memory, and speech. Coping methods that re-awaken numb bodies in a compassionate environment are nonverbal and symbolic and include meditation, imagery, music and movement therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, and existential therapy.”
Yoga And Meditation Technique
These exercises have been proven to “change the brain” by increasing the happy neurotransmitters. This chemical helps improve their coping mechanisms for affected negative emotions, reduces the impacts of traumatic stress, and more. Some of the techniques on which patients can directly tap into the relaxation common normal reactions of their body include: chanting mantras with a group, engaging with different styles of coping in meditation, normal breathing control, and stretching. “It’s believed that yoga combats psychological and emotional distress by bringing a person’s fight-or-flight response back into balance,” says Bret A. Moore Psy.D., ABPP. “That response is the delicate system in the body that prepares you to either fight or run when faced with a threat, which can become disrupted in those having PTSD.”
This strategy encourages patients to understand their traumas better by discussing them. Cognitive restructuring helps them make sense of these crazy disasters and lets them relieve disaster distress and manage the shame, guilt, and regret that are usually felt after a traumatic disaster.
Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into an individual’s skin to balance their energy. This coping mechanism boosts a person’s well-being and cures some disorders.
Many people prefer these natural strategies administered by a mental health professional as compared to the intake of medications and drugs to help them recover from disorders and cope with disasters in life. However, it is better if each finds the perfect risk factors for a disaster recovery approach and disease control and prevention resources since disaster affects everyone differently. Always remember that mental health is an essential and vital part of a person’s overall health. Hence, if you can’t cope with disasters, do not hesitate to contact disaster distress helpline, talk with someone or seek professional help and ask for health professional guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is coping with natural disasters?
- What are the 3 basic strategies of disaster response?
- Which is one of the emotional coping strategies in disaster management?
- How will you respond or react to a disaster?
- How can you help after a disaster?
- How do you recover from a disaster?
- What should you do before during and after a disaster?
- Why is recovery important after a disaster?
- How can we reduce the impact of disasters?
- How do you stay calm in an emergency situation?