Depressed after the storm? You are not alone!

Your home may have been devastated. Perhaps you lost all or most of your cherished possessions. Since the end of October you may have been forced to live elsewhere or remain in a home with out essential services. You have had to deal with your insurance carrier, the NYC Building Department and God knows who else.   In any case, it is not unusual for you to be feeling depressed or greatly stressed.

You are not alone. People who experience the type of life-changes forced upon them like Sandy brought to Breezy Point, all react differently and many find themselves very depressed or simply stressed for prolonged periods of time, both of which can lead to long-term health problems. Do not “tough it out.” If you feel these emotional and mental impacts as a result of the storm, there are resources available to lighten the load and help you through this difficult time.

Many people may not be aware that they are depressed or under unmanageable stress. Some of the signs to be aware of are:

  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Stomach aches or headaches.
  • Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why.
  • Lack of energy or always feeling tired.
  • Severe disorientation or confusion. 
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt.
  • Depression, sadness and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Increased use of substances like drugs or alcohol.

The following resources can be accessed in total confidentiality and may be of help:

  • FEMA’s Disaster Mental Health Helpline is available 24/7, at (800) 985-5990
  • CUNY’s Helpline can be accessed 24/7 in a number of ways:
    • Call 1-800-985-5990
    • TTY for deaf/hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517
    • Text “TalkWithUs” to 6674
  • FDNY and NYPD have Counseling Services Units for its members who can help not only with the stress imposed by the storm, but can do so in the context of the impacts on your job.
    • FDNY – Queens – (718) 352-1693
    • FDNY – Staten Island – (718) 815-4111
    • FDNY – Manhattan – (212) 570-1693
    • NYPD – Early Intervention Unit – (646) 610-6730
    • NYPD – Family Resource Center – (718) 377-1351