Understanding the stress response and how it affects people during an emergency.
Updated: Feb 17, 2022
Many individuals experience fear and anxiety at some level during their lives. Though individuals experiencing fear and anxiety may not have diagnosed mental health impairments, their emotional responses can resemble post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, phobia, and situational anxiety disorder. These emotional responses can be triggered by dangerous and unfamiliar situations such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters. For example, studies of the sociological and psychological effects of the Oklahoma City bombing, 9-11, and Katrina show that the aftermath of such traumatic events takes an emotional toll, often causing people to suppress thoughts associated with the events. As a result, people may find it difficult to think about the possibility of another attack or disaster occurring and therefore avoid planning for emergency evacuation.
The following article is about maintaining a healthy mental state. It was published in Harvard Health Publishing by the Harvard Medical School.