Coping With Disaster

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.

It's difficult to cope with calamity. It can often be traumatizing. Traumatizing disasters. Many houses have been destroyed completely and it looks like a wasteland.

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

PTSD, depression, and alcoholism are effects of trauma.

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  - These exercises have been proven to “change the brain” by increasing the happy neurotransmitters.

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.”

Cognitive Restructuring

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 Treatment

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.


Final Thoughts

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)

  1. What is coping with natural disasters?
  2. What are the 3 basic strategies of disaster response?
  3. Which is one of the emotional coping strategies in disaster management?
  4. How will you respond or react to a disaster?
  5. How can you help after a disaster?
  6. How do you recover from a disaster?
  7. What should you do before during and after a disaster?
  8. Why is recovery important after a disaster?
  9. How can we reduce the impact of disasters?
  10. How do you stay calm in an emergency situation?

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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