Experts: Storm Survivors Can Suffer From ‘Katrina Brain’
By Jason Devaney | NEWSMAX
A new report talks about the long-term psychological issues survivors of natural disasters like hurricanes face, with one expert calling it “Katrina brain.”
The Miami Herald spoke with a woman who survived the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which resulted in more than 1,800 deaths. Brandi Wagner told the Herald she developed a drug addiction, a drinking problem, and depression because of the mental trauma she underwent during Katrina.
Wagner’s story is not unique, experts said.
“People have trouble coping with the new normal after a storm,” Renée Funk of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Herald.
“Many have lost everything, including their jobs. Some may have lost loved ones, and now they have to rebuild their lives. They’re faced with a lot of barriers, including mental illness itself.”
The Herald also reported that more than 7,000 people in New Orleans undergo mental and behavioral healthcare treatment from the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority. Many of them still suffer from Katrina-related mental hurdles, which prompted a University of Tennessee professor to call it “Katrina brain.”
Four major hurricanes have struck the United States and its territories since August. Massive flooding took place in and around Houston as a result of Hurricane Harvey, while Puerto Rico was leveled by Hurricane Maria.
In California this week, meanwhile, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and buildings and have killed at least 32 people, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Nearly 200,000 acres have burned.