Brief presentations of information on
aspects of PTSD:
Warning signs of trauma-related stress,
from Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
Signs from APA
Warning signs of trauma-related
stress, from the
American Psychological Assn.
You are not alone! description of normal emotions following
a disaster, from the American Red Cross.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT
OF MENTAL HEALTH
A DISASTER . . .
Steps You Can Take To Cope In Stressful Situations
When disasters such as earthquake strike, many families
that have suffered loss have experienced the following:
- Increased irritability,arguments and family discord, including
- Clinging, acting out and regressive behavior by children.
- Illness and psychosomatic problems for adults and children.
- Decreased intimacy.
- Increased alcohol consumption and/or substance abuse.
- Survivor's guilt.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR FAMILY MEMBERS:
- Listen and empathize. A sympathetic listener is important.
- Spend time with the traumatized person. There is no substitute
for personal presence. Offer assistance and sympathy. Voiced
support is critical.
- Re-assure children, the elderly and even adults: they are
safe. Don't tell traumatized people that they are "lucky it
wasn't worse". Traumatized people are not consoled by such
statements. Tell them, instead that you're sorry such an event
has occurred, and that you want to understand and assist them.
- Respect a family member's need for privacy and private grief.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF:
- Physical exercise can help relieve stress. Strenuous exercise
alternated with relaxation will help alleviate physical reactions.
Remember that you're experiencing normal reactions to an abnormal
- Talk to people. Talk is healing medicine.
- Accept support -- from loved ones, friends and neighbors.
People do care.
- Give yourself permission to feel rotten. You're suffering
from loss. And, it's all right to grieve for the loss of material
things. You wouldn't have obtained them or kept them around
if they didn't have some meaning to you.
- When you're feeling rotten, remember that those around you
are also under stress.
- Don't make any big life changes immediately.During periods
of extreme stress, we all tend to make misjudgments.
- Eat well-balanced, regular meals & get rest.
- Be kind to yourself.
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
1 (800) 854 7771