Bouncing Back From Disaster Depression

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

Rose Blakey-Phillips was devastated when she heard about the Oklahoma Tornadoes. As a professional counselor in Dothan, she’s found ways to cope.

“Just some healthy coping skills are first of all to remember to breathe. To slow our breathing down,” she explained.

Even when you are not directly impacted by tragedies, they can dampen your spirits.

Marquis Wingard was in charge of disaster response for Abbeville United Methodist Church. He has heard the eerie whisper of a devastated neighborhood.

Wingard said, “At first you look at it and say, wow, we’re helpless. Then you look at it and say, no, we can do something, we can build it back.”

Grief comes in stages. It may start as disbelief, or emerge as anger. However, everyone grieves differently. Experts say channeling that energy into a cause, can help you just as much as others affected by the tragedy.

“As long as you're trying to help, that helps you to get over the depression. You say, "Oh I wish I could do something." Well, you can,” said Wingard.

You never know, when tragedy can hit close to home.

“Whatever we can do, we need to do that. Because for one thing, we never know when we may need to be on the receiving end. Enterprise knows well what this feels like,” expressed Blakey-Phillips.

There are support groups in the area if you or a loved one is struggling with depression.


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