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Oy, Sandy! Enough Already!

Distressing TimesI saw that statement written on a boarded up window on television a few days ago in an area that had been wrecked by the storm. The sense of loss, sadness, fatigue, fear and/or anger is almost palpable in some places.

If times were not stressful enough due to the economy, they’re certainly worse now for many people for any number of reasons.

I’m lucky in that I only lost money. My office in Manhattan’s West Village had no power and transportation was out. Thus, I made myself available to all my patients by phone but some sessions still got cancelled. I didn’t lose power at home so family members who had lost power stayed with me.

I never thought I’d live to see the kind of flooding we had this week in New York City. Tunnels filled with water from floor to ceiling. Wow! We’ve all seen images of the destruction all along the east coast and heard about so many people who lost lives or survived but lost everything they owned.

It wouldn’t be surprising if people are walking around feeling overwhelmed or saddened even if only from watching the 24/7 news coverage. If that’s the case, the best thing one can do is exercise your will power to stop watching.  Turn the TV off, watch something you’ve recorded by DVR, read a book.  Don’t watch these horrible images all day long.

There are no words one can express to “make it better” for those suffering major loss. If you know someone in that situation, it may well be that all you can do is be there to lend a shoulder for them to cry on and let them know they’re not alone. Perhaps cook them a meal if they can’t manage that. Your moral support will mean a lot to them under the circumstances.

Whether you’ve personally suffered a loss or simply can’t manage your feelings about what you’re seeing and hearing, please don’t suffer in silence.  Reach out to friends or family. Take advantage of available public assistance. If nothing works or if you have no support network in place, seek out the help of a trained psychotherapist.

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