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Psychologists say that surviving a catastrophe, and a flood is a catastrophe, is, next to war, the source of the greatest psychological trauma. Many flood victims lost all their possessions. Many barely survived. What they went through must have had an impact on their psyche. Some people manage, however, without the help of specialists, others need such help.

In reactions topost-traumatic stresscaused by a catastrophe, and such may appear, among others,after a floodseveral phases can be distinguished.

  • The first is heroic phase .This is the period when a lot is happening around flood victims. The relevant services issue warning messages, evacuation is in progress, there is hope.
  • Then comes the honeymoon phase. During this period, the areas affected by the floods receive assistance - both organized, institutional, and the spontaneous, private. This phase can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • Finally comes the disillusionment phase, called the secondary catastrophe. Aid ends, people affected by the disaster begin to feel that they have suffered enormous losses that cannot be remedied by any help. Depression sets in, depression sets in.
  • The next stage is the reconstruction phase, in which the lives of individuals finally begin to normalize. And it happens more or less after a year.

Post-flood psychological trauma: when is psychological help most needed?

It depends on the unit. Often, especially with children, right after a disaster has happened. Post-traumatic stress can arise at any time. In the case of children, the most important thing is to rebuild their sense of security. Children should be hugged more often by their relatives, because it is in this situation that they especially need closeness. They should be made aware that although such disasters do happen, adults do their best to prevent them and remove the consequences as soon as possible.

In return to the safe world, summer camps for children of flood victims turn out to be. But beware, talk to your baby first. If it denies it with its arms and legs and absolutely does not want to go, do not insist. It helps older children to overcome the trauma by emphasizing how brave they were during the flood, how wonderful they took care of the elders (often they do). that "it will be fine" because it doesn't mean anything. RatherThey should be told that they have already done so much positive, so much fixed that a little more effort, and they will be able to overcome the problems. It is necessary, as in the case of children, to emphasize their resourcefulness and courage. They have to believe in themselves, now more than ever before. Such conversations can take place in the presence of children who, firstly, will feel safer in the arms of their loved ones, and secondly, hearing how their parents are judged - as heroes - and they will feel so. They will become convinced that everything must go well with such wonderful parents.

What should be the most important in the first moments of the catastrophe:

  • Providing the injured with a safe place so that the least stress-generating stimuli reach them.
  • Showing love, tenderness, both with words and gestures.
  • Distracting attention from the situation and engaging in something else, preferably useful, so that the injured may feel needed.
  • Reaffirming the belief that everything is under control and that there are people and institutions that will take care of them.

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