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Stress after a major hurricane adding up for some in Baton Rouge

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The stress of a major hurricane, on top of the covid pandemic, is adding up for some people even in the capital area.

“A lot of people are stressed, a lot of people are really stressed because there’s the pressure of the covid and the pressure of a hurricane coming through, some people can deal with it and some people can’t,” Terry Scott said.

Doctor Robert Prehn said this kind of stress is normal, but it’s important to recognize it.

“When we humans are subjected to stress, we go through three stages and the first stage is really reaction, we kick into our fight or flight response, so we do something about it so in the case of Ida either you evacuated or you sandbagged your house, you fight or flight,” Prehn said.

He adds the next stage will be coping and getting used to the added stress.

“It’s important to find activities that will help you destress, a way of connecting with others because particularly during the pandemic and the hurricane we all got isolated and that’s a big stressor,” Prehn said.

He said finding people to gather with safely is important to mitigating stress before it gets worse.

“If you’re in phase three you recognize it because you can’t cope anymore, you’re helpless, you’re fatigued and exhausted and it’s important to reach out to somebody, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a mental health professional, it can be a family member or close friend, member of the clergy or family doctor,” Prehn said.

He said if you recognize these three stages, you can do something about it.

Capital Area Behavioral Health is a resource to go to if you need help finding mental health help, according to Prehn.

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