Local pychologist gives tips to struggling West residents

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 6:07pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 10:18pm

It has been nearly three weeks since the fertilizer blast in West. The community is rebuilding with hammer and nail, but one major aspect of recovery is mental rehabilitation and stability.

On the night of April 17th, many people in West helped in the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion by carrying bodies to safety and acting as an emergency responder would.

It was a scene few can comprehend. The closer you were to the scene, the more devastation you witnessed.

Suzy Bird is a research psychologist with Scott and White who studies traumatic mental problems like Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

“If an individual is having a hard time resolving and they can tell that they’re not resolving, or their family members and friends say, ‘Hey buddy, you’re not coming back to the new normal as we would expect you to, there’s excellent treatment available. Really truly excellent treatment in the from of behavioral therapy," said Bird.

If somebody can’t sleep, their emotions fluctuate more so than before, or if memories of the blast and aftermath trigger a certain behavior that prohibits a healthy lifestyle, there are certain things one can do on their own before reaching out to professionals.

Bird said, “For one of a better term, just good healthy behavior can do wonders. And of course, eating properly.”

But Bird said trying to make an effort to resume your life the way it was before the tragedy is key.

“Resuming normal routines or any of the routines that people have that help them like exercise and church attendance and attendance at normal activities- Those are the things that help people get back to normal," said Bird.

If symptoms persist, Bird said to immediately call a therapist specialist, or somebody who specializes in mental health.

There is nothing to be ashamed of.


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