BVI News

Nightmares: Residents affected by post-hurricane disorders

Medical Director at NHI, Dr Harlan Vanterpool.

Residents are being encouraged to exercise self-care in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which health authorities believe to be the cause of psychological and emotional disorders among survivors.

Medical Director for the National Health Insurance (NHI), Dr Harlan Vanterpool said hurricane survivors may develop bad eating habits, insomnia, among other problems.

“After Hurricane Irma, some persons may be experiencing nightmares and reoccurring thoughts, while others may be easily irritated or angered. Difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite or overeating, sadness, feeling powerless, shock, fear, anxiety about the future, even disorientation or difficulty making decisions, or concentrating are all normal reactions. So let’s not be too hard on ourselves or others at this time.”

“The devastating effects of Irma are widespread and far reaching. It has and will continue to affect us all in some way, for the rest of our lives,” Dr Vanterpool said.

The NHI medical director further stated that self-care should be a ‘top priority’ for all residents during these post-hurricane conditions.

“Yes, it’s okay to put yourself first because you won’t be able to properly care for someone else if you are not well.”

Dr Vanterpool said residents must not ignore signs or symptoms of post-hurricane disorders they may experience.

“More often than not, persons put disaster recovery at the forefront and their ailments lose priority. This is a recipe for another disaster. If you have medicine to take by a certain time, or a doctor’s appointment, try your best to be on time. You’ll be no use to yourself or others if you get sick.”

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