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Natural Disaster Trauma

The grass fires Reno County (and Kansas for that matter) has been dealing with can be considered a traumatic experience for some individuals. Many mental health issues may arise in the aftermath of the disaster such as depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is hard to predict when the effects of these disorders will set in. It can be weeks, months, or even years after the event. That is why it is so important to know the signs and symptoms.

What the Heck is Depression?

You've heard the word, but what does it really mean?

Depression is a mental illness that affects 14.8 million American adults (ages 18 and older) in a given year.  It is often referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. Although it is a common mood disorder, it is also serious.  It can be severe enough to impact your daily life including how you feel, think, handle daily activities, sleep, eat, and work.

There are several different forms of depression. The National Institute of Mental Health  (NIHM) outlines them here:

The Face of Mental Illness

If I asked you to describe what someone with depression looks like, what would you say? Sad? Crying? Disheveled? Although those are symptoms of depression, it is also a stereotype. Depression, as well as mental illness in general, is not a facial expression. You cannot tell just from looking at a person that they have a mental illness. Individuals who have suffered from mental illness for a long time can be very good at hiding it. You may see them every day with a smile on their face, when really they are being tortured on the inside.