by Allison Dea
Allison Dea Image

Allison Dea has been with BetterHelp since January 2017. She is currently the Support Team Lead, and enjoys helping the members and counselors on the platform with any questions or feedback they may have. In her previous life, she was an educator in college campus settings, and believes we are all in “beta mode” looking to improve every day. At the end of the day, she enjoys taking a yoga class, going home and cooking dinner, while pondering ways to become the next Food Network star.

Going through a devastating event such as a hurricane or tornado is bad enough but what happens to those people afterward? Sure, there are thousands of volunteers and other people helping during the immediate aftermath but those who lost their homes are now homeless. What happens to them a few months down the road when they are still living with relatives or in a shelter? 

After the Storm

If you are one of the lucky ones who have insurance that covers such horrific damage, it can take months, or even years, to get your insurance payout. And that is if you have the kind of insurance that covers these disasters. What if you do not have insurance or if you are a renter? The government may give you some money but they are not able to give everyone their homes back and everything else they lost. All those personal belongings that are gone like photos and mementos that cannot be replaced can cause an overwhelming feeling of loss in these survivors. This loss can turn into depression. 

Symptoms of Depression

Living with other people such as family or friends can be nice for a week or two but after a while you just want to be able to go home to your own house and sleep in your own bed. Those who have lost their homes do not have that to look forward to. They may get a new place to live eventually but it will never be the same. And they may never be able to shake the feeling that it may happen again. This can cause anxiety and depression disorders that may last for years if untreated. Some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Avoiding people or places
  • Lack of interest in activities you usually like
  • Constant fatigue
  • Vague aches and pains
  • Feeling foggy or confused
  • Crying for no obvious reason
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

Talking to Someone

You may not feel like talking to a therapist or psychiatrist about your feelings so what are your other options? You can talk to friends or family members. However, remember that they are usually biased and may just tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear. A depression chat room may be just the thing for you, though. In a depression chat room, people who are suffering from depression gather to talk about their feelings and offer some solutions that have helped them. However, you have to remember that these people in the chat rooms are not professionals so their suggestions are not proven facts. But, it does seem to be helpful to talk to others that are going through similar situations. In fact, talking to strangers online makes it even easier for some people. For example, those who do not like to talk about their feelings or are embarrassed by their situation.  

If you are having any signs of depression or any other mental health disorders, you need to talk to someone. If you do not want to talk to family, friends, or strangers in a chat room, try talking to a counselor or therapist about your feelings. You will be surprised how much better you feel afterward.