Baylor College of Medicine

09/20/2019 | News release | Archived content

Health and safety tips during flooding, flood recovery

Mental Health

According to Dr. Asim Shah, professor and executive vice chair for community psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor, it's common for those who have gone through a traumatic experience to suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, fear and insecurity, which can last for months and develop into post-traumatic stress disorder.

It's especially important to pay attention to how children are dealing with the trauma.

Warning signs include:

  • Isolating themselves in rooms
  • Hiding in closets and rooms
  • Not eating or eating less
  • Not interacting with people

Address these warning signs sooner rather than later and seek professional help if needed.

He added that children can grow attached to material items like blankets and toys so it's important to remember to slowly and systematically desensitize them to the fact that their items may not be usable if their home was damaged or destroyed.

For adults who need help coping, Shah said the first step they can take toward healing is to talk about their experience and not ignore how they are feeling. The second way they can cope is by seeking professional help and, lastly, adults can use stress management and relaxation techniques.

'There are numerous ways to cope with a disaster like this, but the best thing you can do is try to cope as best as possible,' Shah said.