There is no denying in the fact that natural disasters can happen anytime and anywhere on planet earth. But, if in such times we lose hope, that is our real disaster. From the last few days, Kerala has been experiencing its worst floods in a century. Now that the state is slowly recovering from the calamity, let us have a look at the psychological impact of disaster on the minds of people across Kerala.
● Shock: After a disaster of such intensity, the first reaction is definitely of shock combined with fear. It may take some people days, weeks or even months to come out of this shock.
● Grief: Loss of life and property is inevitable in case of any disaster. The torrential rains in Kerala had submerged almost all districts of the state causing both material and human loss to thousands of households. Those who have been rescued and taken to relief camps are mourning for their dear ones. Some of them can't overcome the grief as they have no place to go back. The home which they had built with so much love is no more in the same condition. This is the kind of situation that generates grief which stays for longer period of time. It becomes really difficult for one to recover from the sadness surrounding them.
● Anxiety, stress and worry: Anxiety, stress and worry takes over the minds of those who are directly or indirectly affected by natural disasters. Some worry about the important documents that have been lost which in turn leads to fear and anxiety regarding future. Some mourn the loss of things that were emotionally valuable for them. Such situations lead to great amount of stress.
● PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder): It is often seen that those who experience a life threatening event continue to be in stress for a longer period of time. The trauma that follows after a natural disaster is no different. It can lead to PTSD where people finds it extremely difficult to get over the event. They get random flashbacks of the event and constantly worry about the future. This can lead to depression and can be really severe in some cases.
It is at such times that one has to stay strong in order to battle both nature's fury and depressing thoughts. Here are some tips that would help in coping with natural calamity.
Tips to cope with natural calamity:
● Talk about it: Talk about your experience to others. Knowing that they share and understand your feelings will help you calm your minds to a great extent. Don't we say, 'Shared sorrow is half a sorrow.’!
● Indulge in positive activities: If you are not able to recover from the pain even after weeks or months. Spend your time helping others who are in similar or even worse situations than that you are in. Help in packing essential commodities for relief camps or volunteer in the rebuilding effort in whichever way possible. One can also do other positive deeds like donating blood. Helping others will generate a sense of purpose in you and you will be able to prepare yourself to tackle stress after the calamity.
● Seek professional advice: If nothing works out and you are not able to overcome the pain and agony that has been caused by the disaster, it is always advisable to seek professional advice. There are several counselling centres in Kerala that work to give mental relief in such circumstances.
Psychological impact of natural disasters can be extreme in some people. Such people should not hesitate in seeking professional help. Those who are looking for psychological counsellors in Trivandrum can always trust Consolace counselling services Trivandrum. We help you stay strong during natural calamities or any other tough times in life.
By Consolace Counselling Services
Our article published in Arogyapadmam Magazine - December 2018
Our Article published in Our KIDS Magazine-October 2018