These past few weeks have been plagued with disaster, tragedy, and stress. As the Louisiana community bands together to repair, rebuild, and recover, it is important to recognize any feelings of anxiety or stress that you may be experiencing. You may be struggling with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD).
ASD commonly manifests within one month of exposure to an extremely traumatic event—such as a natural disaster, serious accident, or witnessing death—and is characterized by the development of severe anxiety, detachment, and dissociation.
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Feeling “on-edge” or easily startled
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Avoidance of reminders, such as people or places connected to the event
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Feelings of detachment or estrangement
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s okay. Here are a few things you can do right now to cope with the stressors:
- Seek social support: Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a trusted counselor, making contact with other can help reduce feelings of distress.
- Focus on practical tasks: By focusing on small, practical tasks that will allow you to regain the lost normalcy, you can take strides away from your stressors.
- Practice controlled breathing exercises: Practicing slow, controlled breathing as necessary can help calm you throughout the day, making it easier to sleep, concentrate, and cope with any additional stress. Follow these tips on guided breathing for you and your child.
- Care for your body: Whether it’s engaging in a favorite sport or hobby, preparing a nutritious meal, or taking a small walk—caring for your body in sustainable ways can release endorphins and aid in stress management.
- Care for your loved ones: If your child is exhibiting signs of heightened anxiety, check out these dos and don’ts of managing anxiety at home.
Acknowledging stress or anxiety doesn’t have to mean succumbing to it. Proud members of the Baton Rouge community, the licensed psychiatrists and therapists at Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge are here to help you cope. Call today to schedule a consultation.