treatment for anxiety and panic attacks in or after a disaster

treatment for anxiety and panic attacks in or after a disaster

A disaster close to home

Back in 1989 on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, an earthquake struck Newcastle Australia, with a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter scale. People t the time all over the news coverage said it was a truly frightening experience, one that they will never forget.

This natural disaster killed 13 people and injured at least 160. The Newcastle earthquake at the time was rated Australia’s worst natural disaster in history, as the damage bill topped around 4 billion
I remember this day well because it happened all so fast. We only lived a short distance away from Newcastle where it the earthquake struck. I was 11 years of age and sitting on the lounge, watching a movie on television with a friend. All of a sudden I felt this vibration through the house. We both looked at each other in total amazement as the whole house moved and swayed like we were sitting in a house made of jelly.

We couldn’t believe what had just happened!

As the floor swayed around us, I remember a sound building up and intensifying almost becoming deafening. We rushed outside to see what was going on and to our surprise, all our neighbors were standing outside also.

As kids we didn’t exactly know what had just happened until later that day, we saw the coverage on the news that an earthquake had smashed buildings and devastated homes all throughout Newcastle.

Many weeks after the earthquake, many people were talking about the increasing feelings of anxiety and panic attacks.

The loss of life and all the damage to homes were all too much for some people. Many people thought that possibly another big earthquake could be on the horizon. An earthquake of this size was quite rare in Australia.

Anxiety and fear of the thought of a natural disaster

Do you get anxious and stressed at the thought of a natural disaster happening where you live? The people of Japan were all going about their business back in 2011 when the fatal and devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck and then followed by a powerful tsunami. We all remember the footage of the massive wall of water enveloping everything in its path.

Should we live in fear that this could happen where we live?

Some countries live in constant fear that someday soon the location where they live could be devastated by a natural disaster. The majority of people who live in Japan, South America, New Zealand (to name a few) all know that at any moment a disaster could strike.

Scientists have long been saying that California is long over due for a massive quake, and that anything over a 9.0 magnitude would have devastating effects. This is quite scary as a quake of this magnitude and on this level of destruction would have massive negative implications on the economy, which could lead to massive population unrest.

Melt down mode

Back in 1997 a tragedy occurred in Australia at the ski village of Thredbo. In the late stages of the night in sub-zero temperatures a landslide occurred and destroyed two buildings killing 18 people. One of the survivors was a ski instructor named Stuart Diver. He endured 11 hours in the freezing cold under a slab of concrete, deep under the rubble with water flowing around him.

It was a truly magnificent show of human strength and courage by Stuart and the rescue team and the images that were seen across the world were etched in all our minds.

Later on some 15 years later I saw an interview on television with Stuart. He told the viewers of his personal melt down and struggle with depression, fear and panic attacks. He lives a constant reminder of how lucky he was to survive but the sorrow of losing the person he loved in the disaster that took place.

Learn meditation to calm your thoughts

Meditation is a process of calming your thoughts through breathing and thinking. If we learn how to do this now, we can control our emotions in any given circumstance. Meditation will lower your heart rate and clear your mind on the things you will be needing to do.

The word fear is broken down like this

F – forget

E – everything

A – and

R – run

Its amazing what the human body does when its faced with a fight or flight situation. Your body goes into hyper sensitive mode readying your body for acute awareness to take immediate action. The only thing is that these days people don’t know how to go back to normal when they are faced with a fearful situation.

Back in early human history, our ancestors had many stressful and sometimes life threatening things happen in a single day. Whether it was a Sabre tooth tiger running behind you or a wooly mammoth trying to eat you, your body would gear its self up for survival and operate very efficiently to survive. However, the body would recover its normal behavior a short time later until the next stressful situation.

Now if someone cuts us off on the freeway or bangs into our shopping trolley we straight away go into fight or flight mode, we find it hard to wind back down. This is because we live in a time when everything is so fast paced with a lot going on. This raised awareness of fight or flight many times throughout the day leads to massive amounts of stress and eventually this type of continual stress will give the body to all sorts of disease in the body.

When in fight or flight mode you will experience many changes in the body. Do you feel like this when your fearful or experiencing a panic attack?

  • Raised heart beat
  • Sweety and clammy with perspiration
  • Very acute awareness
  • Your mouth goes dry
  • Everything goes very loud


When reading about the many hardships people are facing all around the world due to going through natural disasters or perhaps their own personal disaster, we can take stock now to learn how to control our emotions so they don’t control us. Take time to learn how to meditate and you will see many benefits in a short period.

I have experienced both anxiety and panic attacks on and off throughout my life and only recently learned of the powerful effects of meditation. I know firsthand how debilitating these can be on everyday life, but there is a way out

Stay safe



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