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Coping with the Oklahoma Tornado Devastation

Coping with the Oklahoma Tornado Devastation

By Katrina Giries, Licensed Professional Counselor – Intern

“You will not travel that path alone” said President Obama, today, the day after another historic tornado devastated parts of Oklahoma. His message was one of support to the victims and survivors of this horrible tragedy intending that the government would offer as much help as they could to rebuild this small community. Katrina Giries CutOut Close

But what if you are observing this tragedy from afar and are experiencing inexplicable stress related to the news? Our modern technology allows nearly immediate access to events all around the world.  Our thirst for knowledge is a good one, but that thirst can lead us to over stimulate our senses with tragic information that our brains struggle to process.  Many of us may be left with feelings of powerlessness and sadness.

It is common for people who may or may not be directly connected to a tragedy to experience some signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder including loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, agitation, anxiety and depression. Each person is different, and depending on their proximity to the actual events, these symptoms should decrease and resolve over time.

However, what can we do, if these signs don’t improve or even become worse? Counseling is one way to help facilitate the healing process. Connecting with a skilled therapist can give you the support you may need to process your feelings of anxiety and depression. Limiting our exposure to too much media and not allowing ourselves to become too inundated with the graphic images will protect us from dwelling on the event.

Most of all, focusing on appreciating the blessings we do have in our lives is a good way to help all of us realign with our faith. “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the ages” (Matthew 28:20). I can’t help but wonder if that is what President Obama was thinking of today when reached out to our neighbors to the north.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, the counselors at Preston Place Counseling are accepting new clients and are experienced in treating a variety of issues including PTSD. Please contact Katrina Giries at (214) 677- 4996 to schedule an appointment today.


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