Healthy grieving after April's deadly tornados - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Healthy grieving after April's deadly tornados

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

The images of the aftermath of the April 27th tornadoes are disturbing just to look at, so for people who've lived through it, feelings of grief and anxiety can linger for days and even weeks.

Emotional responses like shock, anger, fear and sadness are all normal, but when those feelings don't seem to go away, even months later, that's when a person may need more help than they realize.

"Then, that kind of switches over to what we call post traumatic stress disorder," said Debbie Gibson, a licensed professional counselor with Riverside Counseling and Consulting in Decatur. "That just means the symptoms have not resolved themselves and they may need someone to talk to about it."

Gibson said symptoms include mental and physical responses that many people wouldn't recognize as being aftereffects of the trauma they've experienced.

"Being confused, not being able to make decisions, being forgetful, extremely forgetful, are some of the mental symptoms, and then the physical, what you would probably expect. Not eating or sleeping. Stomachaches, headaches," she said.

Gibson said for those who haven't suffered a huge loss, like the loss of their home or a family member, they can still be dealing with serious forms of grief.

"I tell them your feelings are valid. Just because you didn't experience all of that doesn't mean you're not experiencing some second-hand trauma," she said. "And a lot of people are experiencing survivor's guilt. You know, ‘Why was I spared?'"

In children, parents should look for behavioral changes like increased irritability, fear of being alone and withdrawal from others, because Gibson said kids often act out what they can't verbalize.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:32 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:32:11 GMT
    Spaghetti plot for Invest 90LSpaghetti plot for Invest 90L

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located south of the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a 0% chance of development over the next couple of days before increasing late-week and weekend as it pushes into the Gulf of Mexico.

    More >>

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located south of the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a 0% chance of development over the next couple of days before increasing late-week and weekend as it pushes into the Gulf of Mexico.

    More >>
  • Iowa PD searching for vehicle believed to have been used in boat theft

    Iowa PD searching for vehicle believed to have been used in boat theft

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:24:48 GMT
    Suspect vehicle involved in boat theft in the Iowa area. (Source: Iowa PD)Suspect vehicle involved in boat theft in the Iowa area. (Source: Iowa PD)
    Suspect vehicle involved in boat theft in the Iowa area. (Source: Iowa PD)Suspect vehicle involved in boat theft in the Iowa area. (Source: Iowa PD)

    The Iowa Police Department is asking for your help in locating a Jeep vehicle. The vehicle in question is being sought in connection with the theft of a boat in the Iowa area, according to a post on the Iowa Police Department's Facebook page.

    More >>

    The Iowa Police Department is asking for your help in locating a Jeep vehicle. The vehicle in question is being sought in connection with the theft of a boat in the Iowa area, according to a post on the Iowa Police Department's Facebook page.

    More >>
  • Breaking

    All-clear given at Lake Charles College Prep

    All-clear given at Lake Charles College Prep

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:40 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:40:40 GMT
    (Source: Lake Charles College Prep)(Source: Lake Charles College Prep)

    The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office investigated a bomb threat at Lake Charles College Prep today. Students were evacuated to Water's Edge Church, but an all-clear was given at 2 p.m. 

    More >>

    The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office investigated a bomb threat at Lake Charles College Prep today. Students were evacuated to Water's Edge Church, but an all-clear was given at 2 p.m. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly