Severe weather anxiety is treatable

Severe weather can produce anxiety
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 1:06 AM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Storms that ripped across the state Wednesday may have triggered anxiety in many individuals.

Mississippi is no stranger to severe weather. Thunderstorms and flooding are regular occurrences.

On Wednesday, storms ripped across the state with an estimated 36 tornado warnings issued in the Pine Belt alone.

This can create anxiety for personal safety.

Psychologist Christina Williams said that developing a plan of action for severe weather days can help with the overwhelming feeling of anxiety bad weather can cause.

“It’s knowing where your safe place is, knowing what you’re wanting to take in there with you and practicing all of that before the bad weather so that you feel like you have some predictability about what you’re going to do and what’s under your control,” Williams said.

WDAM 7’s goal is to keep viewers safe and inform them about the weather in their areas,.

However, WDAM 7 chief meteorologist Patrick Bigbie said that he still worries about his loved ones.

“We’re real people, too, and the anxiety can sneak up on you,” Bigbie said. “So, it’s something that we have to control, and remaining calm and cool on the air is a little bit of a face, because sometimes we’re nervous that that stuff will happen to our friends and family as well.”

Being weather-aware and taking the necessary steps to stay safe can decrease levels of anxiety, experts say.

“It’s really important, I think, to start with therapy,” Williams said. “Try some of those behavioral options. Get a really good relationship with a provider that you trust and a therapist will you know if they notice that maybe it’s not as impactful as they want or maybe it’s not as effective than medication can be added at that point from another provider,” she said.

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