Communities, families, and individuals may all feel the effects of disasters and other traumatic events. In the first week’s session, Dr Everly elaborated on such effects and provided several instances of how trauma may emerge. Recently, I have collaborated with a family whose wife/mother was killed in a tragic accident. Isolation and rising disagreement between the son and father are two expressions that influence this family. The wife/mother provided stability and strength to the household. The impact of the loss on the survivors was compounded by its suddenness and unexpectedness.
My main concern is the boy, who has shut himself off from the world and spends almost all of his time in his room, refusing to dine with the family until he is compelled to do so by his father. He spent less time with pals and preferred solo pursuits to group ones, even while he was online. The father dove headfirst into his job, working long hours and putting off his return home. As a result, the dad hardly interacted with his kid, only greeting him when he came in from work or going to the bathroom. They avoided each other as much as possible when they were together, and it was usually harsh and hurtful when they did talk. In my opinion, the worker’s major responsibility is to assist the family in establishing common ground and capitalize on that in the face of unforeseen shock and sadness.
Reading religious literature, meditating, and praying are all spiritual disciplines that Roberts suggests practicing as part of self-care for its spiritual purposes. He continues by saying that the Bible and other religious texts teach caregivers to prioritize self-care and never encourage them to sacrifice so much that they destroy themselves. Finding the time to rest and recuperate in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy may be challenging, but doing so is essential for preventing burnout (Roberts & Ashley, 2017). Like the stages of grieving, disasters have subtleties that make survival the priority. However, after people are secure among communities, family, and friends, they should focus on self-care. Any person in a position of caring for others, whether psychologically, emotionally, or physically must make sure their needs are fulfilled before attending to those of others.
Compassion or caregiver burnout fatigue, defined by Roberts in the textbook, may severely deplete an individual’s ability to provide care. It raises the question of what kind of assistance can be offered if one has lost faith in the human race. Everyone has difficulty adapting to new circumstances, so try to be understanding. Despite best efforts, certain problems cannot be solved (Roberts & Ashley, 2017). However, recognizing that the Lord alone has healing power and that your caretakers are only facilitators, not saviors is key. Secondly, keeping an eye out for symptoms of depression, which include a lack of appetite, a shift in sleep or temperament patterns, an increase in restlessness or anger, an outpouring of tears, or an overpowering feeling of empathy. It is important for families to sort things out, for ministers to maintain emotional distance while still being empathic, and for the first responder to be sympathetic without being emotionally tired (Koenig, 2008).
Helping others while also taking care of oneself, seeing the positive in every circumstance, holding on to optimism, and honoring the life God has given each person are all necessary components of a well-rounded existence. The ability to bounce back from adversity, find solace in the Almighty, and go forth with pride in the face of tomorrow is a gift from the Lord, as is the coping mechanism that individuals have developed throughout their entire lives (Koenig, 2008). Normally, those in positions of helping others through times of crisis and calamity need to reassure those they care for that they are not isolated and that things will get better.
Koenig, H. G. (2008). Medicine, religion, and health: Where science and spirituality meet. Templeton Foundation Press.
Roberts, S. B., & Ashley, W. W. C. (2017). Disaster spiritual care: Practical clergy responses to the community, regional, and national tragedy (2nd ed.). Nashville, TN: Skylight Paths Publishing. ISBN: 9781683360292.