Emergencies do something to our brains. A few months after a catastrophe, people find themselves more irritable and less able to concentrate. Rates of depression and anxiety rise. Same with substance use and suicide. This has been observed in disaster after disaster. In fact there are three distinct phases: the honeymoon phase, the disillusionment phase and the recovery phase. People who lived through Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 know what all of this feels like.