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Hurricane Sandy's Legacy: PTSD for the Vulnerable

Resident Judy Shepps Battle explores the psychological impact of Hurricane Sandy on those vulnerable to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Just a note: If you were in the path of Hurricane Sandy, please be very gentle with yourself for the next few days. The combination of audible wind/rain, tree branches and whole trees coming down, loss of power added to the uncertainty of when the storm would pass and/or when power will be restored is as traumatic as serving in a war zone.

For those who already have PTSD, the storm may be a trigger to renewed episodes. For those who have not had this experience, these events can trigger a Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) one step down from full-blown PTSD. 

I know my response as a PTSD-person is that in the hours immediately following restoration of power,  I just can't get warm no matter how high I turn the heat and all I want to do is drink hot soup. I am also constantly visualizing eating chocolate (another comfort food for me).

Incidentally, I was fine during the worst moments of this crisis but my PTSD is really flaring up badly now that the storm damage has peaked in my neck of the woods.

So be gentle with yourself and with other family members/friends. Get some decent sleep. Take a hot shower. Watch some old funny "I Love Lucy" re-runs until the body and mind shock from of unwelcome weather visitor is gone.

Just sharing my feelings here in still-powerless-for-many Central New Jersey, USA.

Copyright 2012 Judy Shepps Battle 

Judy Shepps Battle is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer. Her weekly column "It Takes a Village" appeared in the South Brunswick Patch for a year. She can be reached by e-mail at writeaction@aol.com. Additional information on this and other topics can be found at her website at http://www.writeaction.com/.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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