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Imagine living in a world where every weather report felt like a threat. A meteorologist’s prediction about precipitation causes heart palpitations. Panic. Paranoia. What if the rain doesn’t stop? What if the house falls apart? How will we survive again? This is the current state of reality for many people living on the island of Puerto Rico after suffering two hurricanes in the season of 2017. Hurricane Maria incurred significant damage to the island and many of its people. One out of eight people in Puerto Rico do not have jobs. More than 80% of the island is still without power and a growing mental health crisis is posing a new to challenge to the island’s recovery as a whole.

“Many Puerto Ricans are reporting intense feelings of anxiety and depression for the first time in their lives,” reports The New York Times. “Some are paranoid that a disaster will strike again. And people who had mental illnesses before the storm, and who have been cut off from therapy and medication, have seen their conditions deteriorate.” Natural disasters, both predicted, like an oncoming hurricane, or unpredicted, like a sudden earthquake, pose two distinct threats to mental health. First, are those with preexisting conditions already undergoing treatment. Damages done by a natural disaster can prevent individuals from accessing their treatment providers and pharmacies for medications. Pharmacies may not be able to access doctors, or receive shipments of medications- a particular challenge for an island like Puerto Rico.

Second, is the threat of new mental health conditions, like those who are developing PTSD or other symptoms of trauma, like depression and/or anxiety. Doctors are not able to access patients and vice versa. Doctors may have lost their practice due to damage at the office. Roads are shut down. Phone access is minimal. Emergency provisions are scarce. Trauma can take time to develop, which is why Hurricane Maria victims are starting to show signs now, just a few months after the storm, at the time of this article.

Trauma is not exclusive to the victims of the hurricane, who lost their homes, their jobs, their possessions, or even family members or friends. Relief workers, first responders, volunteers, and government officials are all prone to developing symptoms of trauma, or PTSD. Constant exposure to the damages of the hurricane is overwhelming. Without time for self-care, or an escape from the constant exposure, it is easy to break down attempting to process all that the mind takes in.

You can live life with confidence. Everyone has a story before they come to treatment. When you arrive at The Guest House Ocala, you arrive to open, welcoming arms. Our treatment programs are customized concierge style to meet your every unique need in order to heal from trauma, addictions, and other related mental health issues. Call us today for information on life at the estate: 1-855-483-7800