Dr. Jamie Howard talks about symptoms of traumatic response to the hurricane
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE
In response to the devastation—both physical and emotional—wrought by Hurricane Sandy, last week Dr. Jamie Howard gave a talk about ways to keep children (and adults) psychologically healthy in the wake of this traumatic event. Along the way she covered the clinical diagnoses of acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and hit on a crucial point—these disorders cannot be diagnosed until after a traumatic event, and for many people in our area Sandy "isn't over yet."
For people struggling without heat and power, without access to clean water or hot food, this event continues. And though continuing trauma doesn't guarantee a bad response down the road, Dr. Howard said, it increases the risk. That's why these suggestions for mitigating the psychological damage of Sandy are so crucial—and why it is heartbreaking that the people who need them don't have ready access to them. So while families work to weather this ongoing storm, we must work to end the trauma and begin recovery—emotionally and physically.