STORM STRESS: Signs of emotional distress following Harvey

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STORM STRESS: Signs of emotional distress following Harvey (KTRK)

The multiple days of rain from Hurricane Harvey not only left scars on southeast Texas.

Mental health experts say it is normal for storms like Harvey to cause people to experience emotional distress.

Feelings like overwhelming anxiety, constant worrying and trouble sleeping, as well as other depression-like symptoms, are common responses before, during and after larger storms.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, other signs of emotional distress related to larger storms include:
  • Fearing forecasted storms may develop into a hurricane even when the chances are low

  • Constantly fighting or yelling with friends and family

  • Having thoughts, memories or nightmares linked to the storm that you can't get out of your head


Flood survivors, friends and loved ones, and first-responders and recovery workers are the most at risk for this stress.

Experts also observe the feeling of helplessness or hopelessness as an additional sign of emotional distress.

The national hotline Disaster Distress Helpline is available to flood survivors 24 hours a day for crisis counseling. If you feel the need for help, you can call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUS" to 66746.

For more information on disaster distress, you can visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

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healthhurricane harveymental healthstressHouston
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