Coping with the Emotional Impact of the Flood

boulderfloodA year ago, Boulder experienced monsoon-like rains that flooded roadways, overflowed creeks and prompted evacuations. As the anniversary of this event rolls around, some of you might be surprised by how emotional you become.

No one who lives through a disaster is untouched by the experience. Flooding can have profound effects on a person’s emotional, social and mental health that may continue over extended periods of time. The psychological upset caused by the disaster often lingers long after the debris has been cleared away. The pain can also be more profound when their home is destroyed, social support is unavailable or when friends and family are lost.

Listed below are 3 ways to ease disaster-related anxiety and stress.

Talk to someone

Turning to social connections is one of the best things you can do to ease your way to recovery. A lot of people who have sustained an injury or lost their homes through the disaster have recovered through the help of their family and friends.

Talking to others is a great way to release pent-up emotions, anxiety and tension. Talk to someone about your feelings, anxieties and worries.

Give it time

The speed of recuperation varies from one person to another. Most people feel better within 3 months after the event; while others recover more slowly. Each person gets through the emotional challenges of a disaster in their own time and on their own terms.

Ask for help

Distress is a common reaction for people following a flood, but only a minority of people will develop further mental health problems.  Someone who has experienced death of a loved one, lost their home and most of their possessions may need some type of long-term emotional support such as counseling.

Do not hesitate to seek professional help. There are counselors available in your area, whom you can talk to. They can share with you some coping tips and give you some advice on how to manage the emotions associated with the flood.