The Fall-out from Sandy, the Nor'easter, and Coping with Storm-Related PTSD

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Just like it will take a long time to rebuild following Hurricane Sandy, for the many people displaced and traumatized by the storm, it will take a long time to heal. Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil speaks to the affects of storm-related PTSD.

Hurricane Sandy is leaving more in its wake than structural damage with high price tags, and now the north east is facing another storm. People will also be struggling through the trauma caused by the storm, an experience Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says can have echoes of PTSD, or - in light of this new storm - post-POST traumatic stress disorder. A recent article in the New York Times ( also drew parallels between this natural disaster and emotional trauma.

Like those who suffer from PTSD during war time, storm survivors may be facing survivor's guilt points out Dr. Bonnie. In these cases, it's extremely important time for families to assist a survivor in understanding that it is ok to feel good. "Due to the survivor guilt they may be disconnected and distant towards family and friends and find it hard to warm up to people." Help them understand they should reach out and get the proper treatment, suggests Dr. Bonnie. "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself," Dr. Bonnie tells her patients and sufferers of PTSD or Survivors Guilt.

Although it may be tempting to languish in a state of "in-between," Dr. Bonnie encourages people to get back into a routine as quickly as possible. "This may not look like their old routine, but putting together some semblance of normality is crucial," she says. But, she acknowledges that people can use their routine as a way to sweep trauma under the rug, so balance is important. She says people should not minimize what they're feeling even if they don't think their feelings are justified, or dont understand why they're feeling that way.

On a practical level, Dr. Bonnie suggests staying away from sugary snacks. Although it's easy to rely on comfort food for an immediate high, over all they will only make people more depressed and irritable, says Dr. Bonnie. Instead, use protein as a snack to avoid the sugar high, and subsequent low.

"It's normal to feel helpless during times of crisis, so doing something active can help get endorphins going, which will help fight depression," Dr. Bonnie explains. And doing an activity with loved ones is especially important: people should be relying on one another, sharing how they're feeling, and - especially for people with kids - letting their families know it's ok to feel upset.

To see Dr. Bonnie talking more about the affects of the hurricane, click here: and check out her “5 Star Video Contributor" via YouTube/Google” with more videos about dealing with the hurricane. To see Dr. Bonnie talking about the importance of the mind-body connection, and keeping our bodies safe, click here: and for more information check out Make Up Don't Break Up, or Financial Infidelity, because people who have experienced trauma struggle with financial infidelity.

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