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Steps to Psychological Recovery Following a Residential Fire

Fire takes an enormous toll on our homes and other possessions but the toll it takes on us psychologically and emotionally can be even greater. Often destroyed by fires are photo albums, important documents, treasured objects, etc. All of these can contribute to the sense of loss and anguish that fire events cause. Should you be unfortunate enough to be impacted by a fire event, the following strategies may help you to recover emotionally.

For Adults

  • Take care of yourself after a fire loss: Sure your possessions may be lost or damaged but that does not mean that you should neglect your own health. Don’t stop eating or getting enough rest or exercise.
  • Ask for help coping: Don’t be afraid to know that you may be overwhelmed by the disaster you have just survived. Ask friends for help. Also, consider seeking professional counseling if you find it difficult to move on emotionally after a fire or house flood.
  • Allow yourself to feel bad during the process: There are famously five stages of grief and you will probably experience them all in the aftermath of a fire event. Those stages as named by Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Don’t deny your feelings of loss following a fire damage house tragedy but know that your grief will pass and count your blessings for having survived.

For Children

A child’s coping mechanisms are far less developed than that of an adult. According to experts, their reaction to fire could include anxiety, nightmares and sleep disorders. The important thing to remember is that their ability to recover is based in large part on how the adults supporting them react. The following strategies may help you to lend support to a child who has just survived a fire event.

  • Talk: Talk to them in plain language that is not too vague but then again is not too explicit. Make sure that you are responsive to your child’s questions and concerns. Let him/her know that what they have experienced is not a common occurrence and that you will help them to recover.
  • Know the signs of trauma in children: As we’ve stated earlier, children can experience many emotional and behavioral issues when dealing with a catastrophe. Know the above signs and be open to seeking counseling for the entire family.house fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire occurs every 24 seconds in the United States (2016 Data). We can help you deal with the loss of home and property. However, emotional scars are far more difficult to heal. Take the time to learn about fire prevention on this and other sites.

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