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Normal to feel anxious or stressed from the aftershocks

It is normal to feel anxious or stressed from the recent aftershocks

The Canterbury District Health Board is reminding people that it is normal to feel anxious or stressed as a result of the violent aftershocks that have hit Christchurch since early on Boxing Day morning.

Canterbury DHB Acting Chief Executive Mary Gordon says one way of coping with anxiety and stress is to talk about how you are feeling with friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues.

It is important to continue to eat and sleep as regularly as possible as well as exercise to help to reduce tension and anxiety, she says.

People who want to speak to someone about their concerns can telephone the earthquake support and counselling services on 0800 777 846.

“Anyone who feels they need to seek medical treatment should telephone their general practice in the first instance – unless it is an emergency.”

If a visit to a doctor is required, afterhours medical services (such as Moorhouse Medical Centre, Riccarton Clinic and Pegasus Health’s 24Hour Surgery at Bealey Ave) will also be open throughout the holiday period

The Canterbury DHB is also reminding people to keep Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department for emergencies only.

“The Christmas and New Year holiday period is a busy time of year for staff in the emergency department and there can be long waiting times for patients,” Ms Gordon says.

While the aftershocks resulted in a small number of people presenting to the emergency department with anxiety concerns, attendances have otherwise been similar to previous years, she says.

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• Fatigue and exhaustion.
• Feeling on edge, nervous and tense.
• Sleep disturbance, insomnia and nightmares.
• Being easily startled and looking out for danger.
• Emotional instability, including tearfulness, irritability, anger, fear, sadness, grief or feeling numb or detached from self or others.
• Anxiety symptoms like a racing heart, rapid breathing, trembling, loss of appetite and stomach upsets.
• Impaired concentration and memory.
• Worrying about what might have been or having to deal with ongoing concerns.
• Feeling a sense of lack of control.
• Increased conflict in relationships, or social withdrawal.
• Flashbacks - thoughts of memories about the event continuing to pop into your mind.


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