Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region of the United States, contributing to the loss of nearly 2,000 lives and displacing approximately 1.5 million residents. Beyond the physical devastation, the hurricane led to elevated health and mental health difficulties among survivors. Many of those difficulties still exist among survivors to this day. One of the most prominent mental health difficulties that many of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina have faced is the development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a traumatic (terrifying) event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
What’s the difference between PTSD and a more normal response to trauma?
When your sense of safety and trust are shattered by a traumatic event, it’s normal for the mind and body to be in a state of shock. Common symptoms can occur such as: bad dreams, feeling fearful, experiencing anxiety, and finding it difficult to stop thinking about what happened. For most people, these symptoms gradually lift over time. PTSD develops when these normal response symptoms don’t ease up and your nervous system gets “stuck” and fails to return to baseline.
Treatment for those with PTSD can vary from person to person depending on a number of factors. Routine counseling and medication management are common forms of treatment for those with PTSD. If you feel you are experiencing PTSD or would like to learn more then please visit the University Counseling Center. We are located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, directly above the Orleans Room (OR). Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm. We provide no-cost individual, group, and couples counseling, ADHD testing, and medication management appointments.
If you would like to make an appointment, simply call (504)-865-3835 or visit the UCC in the Danna Center. It is best to call or stop by to schedule your appointment as soon as you need assistance. If you need immediate assistance after-hours or on weekends for a mental health emergency, please call LUPD at (504) 865-3434 and ask to speak with the counselor-on-call. A UCC staff member is on-call 24/7/365.

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