Harvey and the Holidays
Despite being hit with more than 50 inches of rain, Houston prevailed. People worked to keep each other safe during the storm and rebuild in the aftermath. This city and its people are at a crossroads; especially during the holiday season, as a very public disaster has become a largely private one.
This is especially true for the mentally ill.
We have been here since 1988 helping people rebuild their lives through our Treatment Programs and Out Patient Programs.
|We ask you to help us reach out to mentally ill individuals who might benefit from these services during what could be a very difficult time for them|
Stress and Trauma – Hurricane Harvey
Recovering from the trauma of the storm – an event that was out of someone’s control to prevent - takes time and everyone recovers at their own pace. If months have passed and symptoms aren’t relieved, professional help may be necessary.
Symptoms of unresolved trauma are:
- trouble functioning at home or work
- severe fear, anxiety, or depression
- unable to form close relationships
- terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
- avoiding things that remind of the trauma
- emotionally numb and disconnected from others
- using alcohol or drugs to cope
Finding professional help
Working through trauma can be scary and painful, and is best done with the help of an experienced trauma program. The quality of the program is important.
Therapy approaches are varied but working out difficult situations is best done in a supportive environment outside of friends and family if necessary.
Professionals in the community can be the key to a person’s recovery when assessing their clients for other services and find that a trauma component is preventing the person in resuming a normal life. The professional’s support and understanding can be a crucial factor in trauma recovery.
|Professionals in the community can be the key to a person’s recovery when assessing their clients for other services and find that a trauma component is preventing the person in resuming a normal life. The professional’s support and understanding can be a crucial factor in trauma recovery.|
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatters one’s sense of security, making one feel helpless, threatened and overwhelmed. It can lead to isolation, fear and panic. It is traumatic.
|It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but the subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.|
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by:
- Single events such as natural disasters, violence, illness or injuries
- Ongoing stress that does not go away
- oliving in an unsafe area
- oan ongoing illness
- oanything that seems powerless to prevent
- Sudden, disappointing or humiliating events one is unprepared for
- Extreme cruelness, especially in childhood
While trauma can happen to anyone, the following risk factors may make some more likely to experience psychological trauma.
- under a heavy stress load
- suffered a series of losses, or traumatized in childhood.
- trauma resulting from anything that disrupts a sense of safety
- Natural disasters that
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Anxiety and fear
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling disconnected or numb
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Being startled easily
- Difficulty concentrating
- Racing heartbeat
- Edginess and agitation
- Aches and pains
- Muscle tension
Recovering from Trauma
- Treatment. Trauma therapycan speed the process of recovery
- Movement. Trauma can disrupt the body’s natural balance, freezing one in a state of panic and fear. The nervous system gets stuck in panic mode. Exercise and movement can help the nervous system reboot.
- Isolation - Don’t withdraw from others as isolation only makes things worse. Maintain relationships and avoid spending too much time alone.
- Ask for support. Talk about the trauma in individual or group therapy. Share feelings face to face.
- Participate in social activities. Do normal things with other people, things that have nothing to do with the traumatic experience.
- Reconnect with friends.Don’t retreat from relationships that are important, make the effort to reconnect.
- Join a support group. Being with others who are facing the same problems can help reduce the sense of isolation and hearing how others cope can help inspire recovery.
- Mindful breathing. A way to calm down is through mindful breathing. Slowly take 60 breaths, focusing all attention on each out breath.
- Sensory input. Petting an animal or listening to music can be soothing. Experiment to find what works best.
- Stay grounded. Feel the ground and the back of the chair. Look around and pick six objects that have a specific color in them. Notice how the breathing gets deeper and calmer.
- Be mindful of a healthy mind and body. A healthy body can increase your ability to cope with the stress of trauma.
- Get plenty of sleep. After a traumatic experience, worry or fear may disturb sleep patterns. A lack of quality sleep can exacerbate trauma symptoms. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Their use can worsen trauma symptoms and increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating well-balanced meals throughout the day helps keep the energy up and minimize mood swings.
- Reduce stress.Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Schedule time for activities that bring you joy such as favorite hobbies.