Whenever any disaster strikes, it has a huge impact on society. A large number of people’s normal life alters. People suffer from thousands of problems. Emotional and mental health disruptions also occur. Stress is one of them. The purpose of this article is to discuss signs of disaster related stress.
Let’s discuss about it.
What Are The Signs Of Disaster Related Stress?
Disaster is an occurrence that disrupts the normal ways of existence by inducing a huge level of suffering that exceeds the range of adjustment of the affected community. And stress is a reaction of the body and mind when it faces threatening or challenging events of life.
Natural disaster like storms, earthquakes, floods, etc are very common in most of the countries in this world. Tsunamis, Hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, etc also happen in many countries.
This disaster has a negative effect on people’s minds. It causes fear, stress, sadness, anger, etc types of mental and emotional health issues. Stress is one of the most common problems at the time of the post-disaster period.
Here are some signs of disaster related stress-
1. Shock And Disbelief
If a community has been hit by a natural disaster, firstly people try to figure out what happened. They don’t want to believe l about the event. The mental shock occurs to those directly and indirectly affected. Even sometimes normal thinking process hampers due to excessive stress at the time of post-disaster.
2. Worrying About The Future
Another sign of disaster related stress is worrying about the future. After the destructive event finished, people begin to overthink about the future. Because of disorder, people losses financial stability.
The future seems too dark in the affected people’s minds. People have no way to earn. They have to start the life newly. So, they worry about the future.
3. Lack Of Orientation
At the period of post-disaster, people become less oriented about every aspect of life. It is hard for them to focus on any work. Even taking any decision seems too hard enough due to the acceleration of mental stress.
4. Emotional Numbness
Another sign of disaster related stress is the emotional numbness. People have an inability to express strong negative or positive emotions. They fail to participate fully in life after the disaster. There is a lack of interest in the activities of every situation. Emotions are only felt in the body as through sensation, but not by the mind.
People do not feel anything in situations that would usually generate strong emotional. Suppression of emotions strikes within a short period of time after disaster. A lack of concern or passion is noticeable in an individual’s thoughts.
5. Emotional Wreck
An emotional wreck is an individual who fails to control the emotions. The emotion change quickly in the mind of the people. It is also a sign of disaster related stress.
6. Difficulty In Sleeping
Due to traumatic and often unexpected events like natural disasters, our entire routine in life is disrupted. And because of mental stress, people begin to suffer from difficulty in sleep. Some have a nightmare, some worry about life all night. Sleepless eyes haunt all the night.
7. Changes In Eating Patterns
After natural disasters, food supply disrupts as a result of destroyed crops, and agricultural supplies are also lost. So people have a lack of food. Starvation affects day to day life. Plus some people suffer from loss of appetite. Changes of eating pattern is a sign of disaster related stress.
8. Problems In Digestion
Statistics show that after disaster, some people suffer from problems in digestion. Some symptoms like diarrhea and constipation are very common.
9. Increased Substance Abuse
As people are in stressful conditions, some grown-ups abuse alcohol, drugs, or other substances. Sometimes excessive taking of drugs leads to dependency on these. People become additive to these substances. They find short term pleasure by abusing drugs or stuffs. Such activities may later lead to more problems in everyday life.
10. Recurrent Thoughts
People may think about the disaster relentlessly all the time. And find it hard to consider about something else. These recurrent thoughts can hamper in daily routine life.
11. Erratic Behavior
Due to financial problems, some adults engage in risky behavior like criminal activities. So, crime increases rapidly after the disaster.
12. Cry For "No" Reason
Some people cry for no apparent reason after disaster. Emotional health disruption occurs and for this people express their deep inner grief through tears of eyes.
To get rid of disturbing reality, people have a tendency to evade places or stuffs which may jog their memory of the disaster. These reminders may also bring back all the memories that they experienced throughout the event. Some people develop a fear of height like tall buildings. Some want to avoid plane journeys or even a car journey. Some have a fear of water. This fear depends on the nature of disaster.
14. Strained Relationships
At the time of distress, people may pull out themselves from their close persons like families and friends. In a new self-isolation, people feel completely helpless, lack of energy and positivity. Some also don’t want to be a burden of others that’s why they don’t want to share their grief with others.
15. Impaired Work Performance
It is obvious that after any disaster, people can not able to work like before. Daily work schedule has changed along with the productivity. It is also commonly seen in an individual’s behavior.
16. Feeling Powerless
Another common sign of disaster related stress is feeling powerless. There are some events in life that are unavoidable and unpredictable. These sudden events occur so rapidly that people have nothing to do within a short period of time. They feel powerless about that situation.
17. Depression And Sadness
Human beings are expressing their feelings and thoughts with each other. But after any natural disasters, they feel sad about everything. The mind goes under depression. Lack of happiness is a key point in disaster related stress.
Some other signs are also noticed like agitation, anxiousness, nervousness, fatigue, depression, pain, headaches, etc. Due to over stress, our immunity can suppress, thus leads to illness. Some people feel guilty about themselves or anything. These are the psychology of disasters.
Above in this discussion, we may get an idea about what are the signs of disaster related stress. Disasters don’t just happen. It has a huge effect on people’s minds and bodies. Disaster related stress may be eliminated with proper guidance and counseling.
If needed, medical practitioners should evaluate the disaster related stress. Because most natural disasters are unavoidable, the consequences should be evaluated.