Devastation, Shock, Displacement
In the wake of a natural disaster, the idea of life ever getting back to normal can seem impossible. People have lost their homes, businesses, loved ones and sometimes even an entire way of life. Recovery often doesn’t occur as quickly as we think it should and getting back into a regular routine can be difficult as people struggle with the financial and emotional repercussions they have been dealt.
Once the initial shock of the results of the natural disaster wear off, a feeling of helplessness can sink in. Oftentimes, the psychological effects don’t manifest in the immediate aftermath; rather, they cascade over time and can become more severe if help is not sought.
The more trauma that an individual has experienced during a natural disaster results in higher psychological effects in the aftermath. Feelings of depression, anxiety and difficulty sleeping can develop further into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is defined as a condition of persistent emotional and mental stress, occurring as a result of a traumatic event or severe psychological shock.
People are resilient and do bounce back, but after enduring the tremendous upheaval of a natural disaster, they need help and a support group in order to successfully move forward and begin to rebuild their lives. This is true of all age groups, from children through to the elderly.