Categorized | National News

Matthew Victims Suffer Traumatic Stress

Many residents throughout the northwest Bahamas have reportedly been traumatized by the experience and the after effects of monster storm Hurricane Matthew.

Psychologist Dr. David Allen said an event such as Hurricane Matthew can inflict individuals with adverse psychological effects.

“Natural disasters create tremendous trauma. The reason why it is so traumatic is that they knock out our instinctual means. For example: They destroy safety. They destroy connections and they destroy empowerment. As a result, it leaves us feeling abandoned, rejected and humiliated. It’s a terrible, terrible feeling,” said Dr. Allen.

“With a trauma this great, you’re going to have post traumatic stress reaction. The challenge here will be that you’ll have a lot of flashbacks. Already people are calling about flashbacks. The second thing that happens is, you get agitation. You just can’t be in one place. You become very hyperactive. Your thoughts work very fast and you can’t sleep, and you have severe insomnia,” he said.

“The most painful thing is you have these fears that you will never get going again. The life you knew, you will never see again. The final thing is that you have withdrawal. Even though you’re with friends, you withdraw and not speak to them,” Dr. Allen explained.

Dr. Allen said trauma from such an event can also lead to increased car accidents, domestic disputes, and



He called on the church to play a pivotal role in pulling such individuals out of this state of depression.


While the church does its part, he insists the community gets involved as well.


“The saddest thing about this whole experience thus far is, some people told me they couldn’t even find people to help them batten up. Somehow we as Bahamians ought to realize that we have to be our brother’s keeper. We have to help people,” he said.


“The only way to get through this traumatic experience and out of this natural disaster is by people helping people. Without that, it’s going to be very difficult,” he added.


“In Nassau, we should be helping people. What else are the churches there for? Churches are there not just to be opened on Sunday. They should be opened all this week. There should be food there. People should be able to come and get shelter,” he said.


“We have a church on every corner. It’s the same way in Grand Bahama, and in Andros. I know the Minister of Labour is orchestrating the government’s approach, but I think there should be a nonpolitical approach as well,” he added.






Written by Jones Bahamas

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