Surviving Natural Calamities

Coping With Natural Disaster

Natural disasters bring emotional damage to millions of people every year. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, tornadoes, and floods are only some of the disasters that destroy our homes and lives. Even with preparations made for natural disasters, there is nothing we can do to stop the destruction can bring completely.  




Effects Of Natural Disaster

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 these disasters on the people who have experienced them. Some people who are left in the turmoil of these disasters have lost their homes, families, friends, and even their entire way of life.  

These disasters often impact an individual’s mental health. One of the most common psychological effects brought about by natural disasters is post-traumatic stress disorder.  

How To Cope With Natural Disaster

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

Coping with any disaster is not easy. Anyone who has been exposed to a terrifying or life-threatening event, such as natural disasters, can develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can manifest immediately once the disaster has happened but in some cases, it can develop much later. For months or even years, individuals with PTSD will still be haunted by these traumatic disasters, to the point that their daily routines become significantly impeded. “People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and 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.”



Coping With Disaster Leads To PTSD

According to the Anxiety and Depressions Association of America, listed below are some of the common symptoms of PTSD while coping with natural disasters: 

    • Physical symptoms of anxiety while coping with disasters such as inability to think clearly, sweating, and a racing heartbeat 
    • Experiencing flashbacks while coping with disaster regarding traumatic memories 
    • Coping with disaster makes changes in an individual’s routines
    • Coping with disaster leads to people avoiding interactions with others
    • Insomnia or difficulty getting enough rest while coping with disaster due to strange dreams or constant nightmares 
    • Having angry outbursts on a regular basis while coping with disaster 
    • Being aggressive or violent with anyone coping with disaster
    • Lack of concentration while coping with disaster leads to the difficulty of completing tasks 
    • Inability to retain or remember information while coping with disaster

Every person experiences different symptoms. The coping phase for PTSD usually lasts for six months, but others face this disorder for years.  

Natural Therapies For Individuals That Has PTSD

Talking about coping strategies, most treatments for PTSD have a conventional approach. These treatments include the use of prescription medications and drugs, which are believed to 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 coping mechanism. They opt to engage with natural coping treatments since they do not want to experience side effects from using medications. 

    • Guided Imagery – This “coping with disasters” strategy helps PTSD patients to focus on mental images to bring out the feeling of relaxation. This “coping with disasters” practice 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  – These “coping with disasters” exercises have been proven to “change the brain” by increasing the happy neurotransmitters. This chemical helps improve the “coping with disasters” mechanisms for negative emotions, reduces the impacts of stress, and more. Some of the “coping with disasters” techniques on which patients can directly tap into the relaxation response of their body include: chanting mantras with a group, engaging with different styles of coping meditation, controlled breathing, and stretching. “It’s believed that yoga combats psychological 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 with PTSD.”


    • Cognitive Restructuring – This “coping with disasters” strategy or approach encourages patients to understand their traumas better by discussing them. Cognitive restructuring helps them with making sense of these negative happenings and lets them cope with the shame, guilt, and regret that are usually felt after the traumatic disaster. 


    • Acupuncture – Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles on an individual’s skin to balance their energy. This “coping with disasters” practice helps boost a person’s well-being and cures some conditions.  



Coping With Disaster Resulted To Trauma And PTSD

Many people prefer these natural coping therapies as compared to the intake of medications and drugs to help them recover from PTSD and cope with disasters in life. However, it is better if each finds the perfect recovery approach since trauma affects everyone differently. Always remember that mental health is an essential and vital part of a person’s overall health. Hence, if you are having a hard time, do not hesitate to ask for help.  


Published by

Marie Miguel

Professional Experience Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade; covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to target subjects related to anxiety and depression specifically. As an editor, contributor, and writer for over 100 online publications Marie has covered topics related to depression, anxiety, stress, grief, various phobias, and difficult family circumstances. With regular content published on mental health authorities like TheMighty, Yahoo, GoodMenProject, ADAA, CCPA-ACCP, Silverts, AMHCA, etc... Marie has shown both her passion and dedication to discussing & educating topics related to mental health and wellness. With an understanding that there is never too much information and helpful research about mental health in all of its forms, she continues to look for new and creative ways to both start discussions & engage with others about these important topics. Before becoming an online researcher and writer, she worked as an Administrative Executive with different industries namely telecom, security workforce providers, trading companies, exclusive hotel and concierge services. After ten years of working in different industries, she decided to enter the world of freelancing in able to give more time to her precious daughter. Given this opportunity, it helped her discover and realize that she is both capable and passionate about expressing her opinions in creative and influential ways via writing. Education Marie Miguel is a loyalty awardee of St. Paul College where she spent her primary and secondary education. She holds a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Computer Applications from De La Salle University - College of St. Benilde where she was also on the Dean's List for consecutive semesters during her college years. "My Philosophy on Mental Health & Wellness" It takes passion for being an expert researcher and writer of mental health related topics. Having lived through traumatic experiences in the past, it has become easier to express my opinions and findings I've discovered while researching a variety of situations and subjects. I aim to inspire every person that reads mental health & wellness related articles to provide hope in every struggle; just as my experiences have taught me. Additionally, I strive to contribute to the continual progression of mental health awareness by providing helpful information and significant resources to understand further the importance of keeping a healthy mind and well-being.

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