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COMPASS MAGAZINE, November 1999. VOL. 6 ISSUE 11

PSYCHIATRISTS' SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH TRAUMA:

-Acknowledge that feelings of fear and similar reactions to trauma are normal, not a sign of weakness. Reactions to trauma can be dealt with and will eventually pass.

-If you have problems dealing with anxiety, fear and related problems, seek help from friends, relatives, teachers, religious counselors or psychiatrists. Do not be afraid to share your experiences and feelings with others.

-If the trauma has made existing medical conditions--such as high blood pressure and diabetes -- worse or caused other recurrent physical problems (like sleeplessness), seek medical help.

-Try to resume your normal daily schedule and life as soon as possible after the trauma. -Find time for leisurely, fun activities, which help relieve stress.

-Never feel guilty about the trauma, your survival or the plight of others. The earthquake was no one's fault.-Muscle relaxation techniques, meditation and music all help relieve stress and deal with trauma-related symptoms.

-Do not spend long periods of time inside of your house (where most people experienced the earthquake). Self-suggestion and even TV quake images can cause one to relive quake experiences. Go out and spend time with others.

-Do not rely on drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism from trauma-related problems or feelings.

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