Psychological Issues After a Crisis or Disaster

It is almost impossible to avoid crisis and hard to lead a disaster-free life. According to a developmental psychology theory by Erick Erickson, crisis and major life changes have similar features but distinct magnitudes and impacts on one’s life. How an individual or community copes with different life crises has an extremely remarkable influence on the quality of life (Shakespeare-Finch, Schweitzer, King, & Brough, 2014). When individuals successfully develop the capability to understand, cope with and overcome different crises, they stand high chances of leading happier and healthier lives as compared to when they persistently remain frustrated after an unfortunate incident (Masud-All-Kamal, 2013). Therefore, it was paramount for the victims of Hurricane San Felipe Segundo to address the impacts of the disaster and have a positive attitude towards their new life phase.

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Eleven years ago, a fire broke out in our family business premises, razing the entire building and everything that was inside and surrounding it. It was hard to come to terms with the loss as we had not insured the building against such risk. At first, I was bitter about myself for not advising my parents to put proper measures to protect our business premises from fire and have a relevant insurance cover. Despite being a staunch Christian, I thought God was unfair to us and wondered why He would allow us to lose our sole source of livelihood if at all He cared about us. My brother was almost completing his final year in high school, but his dream of joining college the following year was cut short by lack of finances. As a result, he got frustrated and developed depression. Fortunately, after many professional counseling sessions, he developed an optimistic perception towards life, recovered from depression, and assisted my parents in their newly started business which is now a big company.


Masud-All-Kamal, M. (2013). Livelihood coping and recovery from disaster: The case of coastal Bangladesh. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 5, 35-44.

Shakespeare-Finch, J., Schweitzer, R. D., King, J., & Brough, M. (2014). Distress, coping, and posttraumatic growth in refugees from Burma. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 12(3), 311-330.

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