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Ptsd And Hurricane Katrina Essay

1422 words - 6 pages

In times of emergency, life and death, and tragic despair, people often are reminded of the umbrella of stress that hangs over us. With such a world people live in today, at times its common to be caught up in the minor details of life; rather than enjoying the beauty of it all. Almost everyday, we live in a sheltered life, hidden away in our communities, just trying to skate by. But there are sometimes moments that occur in a lifetime, where that sheltered routine, that is so ingrained in our minds, is taken upon differently. August 29, 2005, day one of hurricane Katrina; this date, is one that is permanently ingrained in thousands of citizens of New Orleans. On this day, people have seen family members drown, houses destroyed, as well as the memories of such a beautiful city float by them. Because of this one day, that umbrella of stress hanging over these people is present for a life time. The enormous amount of stress that hurricane Katrina victims have gone through have not only resulted in physical health issues, but a psychological sickness no other than post-traumatic stress disorder. But who is to blame for such an event? Some might say it is just natures course, but this blame should be put on no one other than the United States government. Due to the poorly planned evacuation process of the United States government, as well as post hurricane Katrina living conditions, the citizens of New Orleans who underwent intense psychological stress have a significantly increased likelihood of being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The lifestyle of citizens previous to hurricane Katrina was simple and family oriented. To many of those whom lived in New Orleans, New Orleans was there home, is there only home; and everyone who lived there was considered family. This style of living meant for closure to the outside world, but when the waves of hurricane Katrina came crashing on their doorsteps, those who truly loved the city stayed to endure the storm. Little did they know, what lied for them after the storm is what has come to be psychological stress. According to the journal of urban health, they stated, “The prevalence of symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of PTSD was 19.2%” (145 DeSalvo). The trauma for these victims did not stop there. Looking over to Marilyn Elias from USA TODAY, she states that, “The big surprise: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which typically goes away in a year for most disaster survivors, has increased: 21%” (16). But the true question is why is this happening? Why is the average among hurricane Katrina victims going through post-traumatic stress disorder increasing? When analyzing the actual causes of PTSD one must understand that, “Ordinarily, memories of particular events are remembered as stories that change and deteriorate over time... in PTSD the past is relived with an immediate sensory and emotional intensity” (Van der Kolk (quote within a quote)). Looking upon Van Der Kolk’s words,...

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