Psychologist: Hurricanes can cause PTSD

Published: May. 16, 2018 at 3:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2018 at 7:56 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - While many continue to repaint their homes, tear out carpeting and fix their missing shingles, another hurricane season is quickly approaching, which can put stress on those who are still working to fix last year's mess.

"Stress is a normal human reaction to feelings of threat," said psychologist Dr. Jerry Whiteman. "And it's not uncommon for people to have a fight or flight response."

Many times, these types of stressors can lead to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

"It's a mental health problem and it does require treatment," Whiteman said.

And it can have a lot to do with what you've been through in your life.

"It depends on your existing personality, what personality do you have, are you a person who can handle problems or are you easily overwhelmed by stressors," Whiteman said. "And a lot of that goes back to your personal background."

But some people are more likely to experience PTSD during hurricane season than others.

"Females and elderly are more perhaps more vulnerable than the general population," Whiteman said.

Whiteman says if you experience flashbacks, avoidance of areas or events, and are easily startled by certain sounds, PTSD may be something you suffer from.

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