Aftermath of Harvey
The unprecedented and catastrophic flooding in Southeastern Texas from Hurricane Harvey has left more than 30,000 people displaced and far too many lives taken. The aftermath of the tropical cyclone is devastating and the road ahead to recovery, treacherous. Natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornados, floods, landslides, and forest fires are classified as types of common traumatic events and have the potential to lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These distressing experiences bring terror and traumatize large populations of people at once.
Like Hurricane Harvey, natural disasters can be sudden and overwhelming. Judith Herman, MD writes in Trauma and Recovery, “traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.” In the chaos of a disaster, the distinct feeling that one has no control, feels helpless, and is uncertain about the future often results in shock. The paralyzing nature of shock can quickly proceed to overwhelming levels of anxiety, depression, and even guilt.
As the rebuild and repair ensue in the coming months for Texas, the loved ones lost will be remembered. The survivors face a particular challenge as the landscape of their lives dramatically changes due to the aftermath. In times of tragedy, it is the comfort in being together that plants the seed for healing to occur. It is the connection to others, and “the solidarity of a group that provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience.”
If you or a loved one have been affected by Harvey, or another life changing experience, either personally or from a distance, seeking connection through professional help is beneficial.
Healing Happens Here.