Taal Eruption, Ashfall Can Take A Toll On Your Mental Health: Tips To Help You Cope Up

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  • The effects of the erupting volcano on health go beyond physical ailments
  • People in communities hit by a natural disaster may experience emotional numbing, depression, difficulty sleeping, and changes in eating patterns
  • Talking with other people affected by the disaster gives you opportunity to discuss practical ways to deal with the situation

Breathing the ash spewed by the Taal volcano can cause or worsen respiratory, skin and eye problems, but the effects of the erupting volcano on health may go beyond physical ailments.

Image via Pixabay

Health authorities also anticipate mental health issues among those affected by the natural disaster. Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder can linger long after breathing problems and other physical issues subside. Doctors who work in disaster-impacted communities continue to see mental health issues years after people have returned to their homes.

For those having difficulty with their feelings after a calamity, here are some tips to help you or your family cope up.

Talk

Talking with others in your community can make you realize you are not alone in your struggles and that you share similar feelings and experiences with others.

People in communities hit by a natural disaster may experience disbelief, shock, fear, emotional numbing, difficulty in concentrating and in making decisions, sadness, irritability and anger, depression, crying for no apparent reason, difficulty sleeping, and changes in eating patterns.

Talking with other people affected by the disaster also gives you the opportunity to discuss practical ways to deal with the situation.

Get help from people you trust

Get in touch with your friends and family who are outside the area. Many will likely be willing to give you practical and emotional support. They can help you and give you words of encouragement that can help you get through the difficult time.

Take care of yourself

Try to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. Find time to do the things that you enjoy such as reading a book or watching a movie as these activities can help you get your mind off the disaster. Remember that people who are under stress can be overwhelmed by ordinary workload, so be kind to yourself and take one thing at a time.

Volunteer

Helping others can give you a sense of purpose, so do something positive. You can help prepare care packages and volunteer in rebuilding efforts.

Limit your exposure to images and videos of the disaster. Watching or reading news about the disaster over and over again can increase stress.

Make a recovery plan

Have a plan on what to do next. If you lost your home or livelihood because of the disaster, consider your options. Remember that you cannot rely on aids and other people’s benevolence forever so develop an actionable plan that can help you get on your feet the soonest possible time. This can help alleviate stress related to financial concerns.

Image via Pixabay

Don’t forget the children

Children may also be struggling emotionally and mentally as a result of sudden changes and the adjustments they have to make in response to the calamity, Make sure you encourage them to share their concerns and what they feel about the disaster with you.

Get professional help

Health authorities and NGOs deploy mental health teams to affected areas. Seek professional help if you or anyone in your family experience trauma, anxiety and other mental health issues.