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Hurricane Katrina and the PTSD After Effect

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Apr 18, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a term being thrown around quite a bit these days, particularly in the wake of devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in areas such as New Orleans, South Louisiana and Mississippi. Many people may be unfamiliar with the specifics of this clinical disorder, their exposure to it limited to made-for-TV movies’ choppy juxtaposition of jungle flashbacks and offbeat caricatures of Vietnam veterans, who, by the end of the film, are able to overcome their condition through the love and support of their family and friends. It would certainly be a relief if Posttraumatic Stress Disorder were so easily conquered. However, the disorder is much more complex and deep-seated than mainstream data implies.

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious disorder, diagnosable by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the bible of mental health professionals. The DSM-IV outlines and qualifies hundreds of mental disorders, creating diagnostic criteria and treatment goals consistent across mental health professions. PTSD is listed in the DSM-IV under the broader category of Anxiety Disorders. The hallmark of PTSD is the development of specific symptoms following the experience of a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, witnessing or suffering a violent act, or enduring a severe natural disaster. Some of these symptoms include an inability to fall or stay asleep at night, recurrent memories of the trauma, psychological stress when faced with situations triggering memories of the trauma, panic attacks, feeling detached from family and friends, and even finding oneself unable to recall certain aspects of the trauma.

    Upon reading through this list, many Katrina survivors likely recognized some or all of these symptoms in themselves, which is completely understandable, even probable. Hurricane Katrina completely overturned the lives of thousands of people, wreaking havoc, death, and destruction nearly everywhere she roamed. To identify Katrina as a “traumatic event†is an understatement. It is likely that countless victims of this disaster are currently diagnosable with PTSD, and simply never recognized their feelings and symptoms as cause to seek help. Such people direly need the community resources and education about PTSD and related mental health conditions that so frequently plague survivors of intensely tragic events like Katrina. There is no need for the citizens of New Orleans to suffer in silence with the pain of PTSD. If you or a loved one fits any of the criteria listed above, contact your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can provide you with further information, referrals to social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals who can offer relief in this time of potentially unbearable hardship.

    Source: Bayou Buzz
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    And so it continues to get more interesting, with a future for thousands unknown whether they will, or will not, develop PTSD. I am a bit both ways with this following article, in that I really do understand what is and is not traumtic, but I don't know if their estimates would really be as high as they outline, which is the lower level apparently!

    I understand hurricane katrina was devasting for the US and New Orleans, hell... the entire world witnessed it on what is now "media" 24/7 live broadcasting, yet I am still pressed to whether many will actually fall into the PTSS category, and simply be misdiagnosed with PTSD instead. Whether this falls inline with the American shrinks that want to push lower end sufferers into the PTSD bracket, so they then turn around and claim victory on curing PTSD, I don't know.

    I understand that those within a hurricane and devistation would have trauma afterwards, no doubt in my mind, but it is becoming ever increasing that doctors are now merely branding all trauma as PTSD, instead of calling it what it is. One, two or even three symptoms of PTSD, does not warrant being diagnosed with PTSD under the real and meaningful schedule of diagnosis, and not some pretent method doctors are coming up with to diagnose.

    Ok, lets look at things in real day life. Realistically, your life is in danger 24/7, and that is a fact. It doesn't matter whether your sitting in your home, as someone could come into your house, a plane could crash into it, a car smash through it, etc etc etc; everytime you get in a car, you increasing your chances of death or serious injury, but hey, 99.9999% of the global population don't get PTSD from all these everyday traumatic life experiences.

    Those within the hurricane that suffered directly, ie. their life was in critical danger of being taken, or those that where pulling bodies out, and so forth, a percentage would be liable to PTSD, no question at all. But now the media are focusing on children.

    Children are involved in car accidents, and yet when they get back in the car, they become back seat drivers basically, telling their parents to be careful, watch this, watch that, but they learn to live with the facts of reality vs. the mental substitutes.

    Are we, society, imposing the mental substitutes of reality upon the upcoming future of society? Society has changed much over the past couple of decades in a sense that not many see as positive, for example, the belife you can sue someone for any minor infraction!

    The facts of PTSD are, it can actually be avoided if treated early, before being allowed to progress to PTSD. If many of us had mandatory counselling for several years, if needed, after our traumatic events, the likelihood of everyone here having PTSD would be somewhat slim. Has society merely given up? Are we just lying down and accepting that traumatic events will garnish PTSD? Instead of being proactive and forcing professional help upon those trauma victims before allowing PTSD to even establish? It can be stopped beforehand, but it can't be stopped once fully inflicted!

    Anyway, here is the actual story itself, which in some points is a little distressing from events and suffering occurred during hurricane Katrina.

     
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