Psychiatrist talks about coping, dealing with trauma as one-year anniversary of EKY flooding approaches
KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - As we approach the one-year anniversary of the devastating flood in Eastern Kentucky, many flood survivors, like Knott County native Nathan Smith, will likely revisit the trauma of that night.
“It’s gonna be hard for everybody. There’s a lot of lives that were lost,” Smith said. “It’s gonna be hard for everybody.”
Smith lost his home in the flood. Even today, he says he’s on edge when he hears severe weather is headed our way.
“I don’t sleep well through the night. I’m always up. If I hear it’s raining real hard or something, I get up and go look out, look back out the door or out the river to see the window,” Smith said.
Psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Martin says this is to be expected for many flood survivors.
“Anytime we go through a traumatic event, even if it doesn’t develop into PTSD, we can have PTSD symptoms for several months after, and that can be frustrating and dejecting, and make us feel like its never gonna end or it’s always gonna be this way, and that’s not the case,” Dr. Martin said.
Dr. Martin says the more time that passes. The better flood survivors will be able to cope with those memories or even severe weather.
“Put yourself in those uncomfortable positions, get back on the horse, so to speak. If we let it limit us, it will keep feeling that dangerous, it will keep feeling that scary,” Dr. Martin said.
Dr. Martin adds that if the traumatic memories begin to interfere with your daily life, reaching out to a listening ear or even your healthcare provider can help.
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