Typically after something like Hurricane Katrina, the number of people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) jumps. Here in the Gulf Coast region, the number doubled after Katrina. Faculty at Xavier often joke that we're not suffering from PTSD, because we haven't yet entered the "post" stage. Turns out our observations were right. Typically after disasters, over time, the numbers go down. Not here in K-Ville. Those suffering from PTSD now two years later has significantly increased, and a whopping 8% of people are contemplating suicide, according to the latest findings released in a report by Harvard Medical School published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. Interestingly those suffering from depression are from all socio-economic and racial backgrounds. The researchers theorize that the increase in mental illness is due to the slow rate of recovery.
NPR covers this story here.
Thanks to Sue for the depressing lead.