• PTSD, Fire Loss, and Natural Disasters


    This morning I hit the road with my friend Wanda to drive to Colorado Springs, where I’m scheduled to tape two radio programs with Focus on the Family on Monday–one show with Jim Daly and the other with Susie Larson and Greg Smalley.

    For the past two days, Wanda and I have been monitoring reports of the fire and calling friends and loved ones in Colorado Springs to check on their welfare. Many people have lost their homes. Others are still waiting to see if theirs will withstand the ravages of the fire.

    Unfortunately, many people today think that time heals all wounds, This is not the case with PTSD. People who lose their homes in a fire can experience PTSD symptoms for years, including

    • insomnia
    • disconnection from people, work, and emotions
    • compelling need to check for safety (make sure appliances are unplugged, walk around the house at night, etc.)
    • fatalistic thinking (the worst is going to happen to me)
    • nightmares or flashbacks
    • feeling of being “stuck”
    • depression

    It’s important for those who experience PTSD and those who love them to understand that time does not make PTSD better. Without effective trauma-specific treatment, most symptoms will not go away. The traumatic event that has become “stuck” in the brain must be reprogrammed.

    If you or someone you love has experienced a natural disaster and are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, consider seeking trauma treatment.

    Allow the healing to begin.


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