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How to Cope Psychologically with Hurricane Sandy

The stress, sadness and sense of loss of control hits hard when someone becomes a victim of a natural disaster and these feelings can be overwhelming. Donald K Freedheim, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and clinical psychologist on the Red Cross Trauma Team shed some light on the subject.


What are some ways the people affected by Hurricane Sandy can cope psychologically to what has happened to them?

Some general remarks on coping:


–  Reach out to family and friends for communication and support.  It is important to speak out about the losses, feelings, anger, frustration, etc.  Keeping these inside may increase the pain and helplessness. Some are better at talking than others, but it is important to try to express feelings in words rather than action.


– Explore all options for help.  Do not be shy about seeking government aid, Red Cross assistance, or support from any source.


– Treat yourself to your favorite indulgences [food, entertainment, etc.] to relieve some of the pain.


–  Use the resources of churches, counseling centers and other places where you can “unload” about the losses and pain.