Nowadays, attacks and catastrophes have almost become an everyday experience. Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. can have an enormous impact on those who survived. People have strong emotional reactions to these critical situations.
The following events trigger a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
- Exposure to a traumatic event.
- Confrontation with a catastrophic situation.
- The person who lived was a witness to an actual murder, or the person saw other individuals injured.
- The person is traumatized because their physical integrity was threatened.
- There were moments of intense fear, helplessness or horror.
How People React to Terrifying Experiences?
In the period following the disaster, people may have various reactions.
The brain reacts to uncontrollable experiences, overwhelming and threatening with conditioned emotional responses. So, the consequences could be:
- People could be in denial, shock, feeling overwhelmed or numb.
- Some people have mood swings. In the wake of a disaster, they become irritable, overly emotional, and many individuals could feel anxiety.
- Terrifying experiences can profoundly alter their skills, relationships and the way they perceive and interact with the world.
- Most people are profoundly disturbed by the disaster. Many people have flashbacks or memories of the catastrophe. Often they are triggered by sounds or images that bring back memories of the unpleasant moments. Some people can encounter difficulties while they’re concentrating, eating, or sleeping.
- Relationships with friends and family may become tense as the survivor goes through this cycle of intense emotions. Some people experience conflict with loved ones, while others tend to become withdrawn and quiet when around friends and family.
- Some people experience physical symptoms in response to stress or trauma. Headaches, stomach aches, and rapid heartbeat can take the place of strong emotions about the event or can accompany a person’s feelings.
- Also, the survivor’s guilt can occur when a person believes to have done something wrong by surviving a catastrophic event when others did not.
How Can You Cope with These Reactions?
These tips may be beneficial to help yourself or a loved one heal emotionally after a disaster.
- Be Patient
Take your time to experience these emotions and don’t expect that things will go back to normal in a short period of time. Dive into the emotions you are feeling and try to face them as they come.
- Ask for Support
If you don’t want to feel alone in this situation, ask your family and friends to help you. Another option is to find support groups of people who have experienced the same thing. Talking with others about your traumatic experience can help you get rid of a heavy burden.
- Seek to get into A Daily Routine
Experience some stability after trauma, and routines can contribute to establishing stability in your life.
If you want to ease the stress on your mind, take care of your body. So, try to get plenty of sleep and remember to eat healthy foods.
- Exercise More
Moving more can burn off adrenaline, release endorphins, and calm your nervous system.
- Engage Socially
Connecting face to face with other people and making new friends is vital to recovery.
- Avoid The Stress and Stay Calm
If you encounter stressful activities after a traumatic event, it will get in the way of recovery.
Control your breath and focus on each inhale and exhale. It will help you calm down. Start practicing yoga, meditation, and other activities to find what works best for you.
Take a walk or watch your favorite movie.
Involve in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
All the above advice could help you get a bit of relief. However, if they didn’t work for you, contact a psychologist or counselor for extra support. It could help you get over the traumatic event.
Have you ever experienced any loss after a disaster? How did you react? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.