Intense Weather Can Leave a Lasting Impact

Hurricane Harvey
Posted at 5:23 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 17:23:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- While several organizations and individuals are offering help to victims of Hurricane Harvey, millions more had their lives changed forever when the storm ripped through Rockport and flooded southeast Texas and Louisiana. Unfortunately, many of these victims may develop PTSD from the Harvey's havoc.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was first associated with war veterans, but can affect anyone who has been through a particularly stressful event, either man made or natural, like severe and intense weather.

This type of anxiety can vary from person to person ranging from painful memories to problems functioning in everyday life.

The devastation of Harvey remains well to our west, but North Florida and South Georgia did see a series of tornadoes back in January of this year.

Because of that, it's very possible that the darkening skies, roaring thunder, and pouring rain can bring back anxiety and even unpleasant memories. Experts say, that's normal.

"It's important to realize that this is a normal reaction," says Dr. Larry Kubiak, the director Psychological Services at the Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center. "You are going to be traumatized by it. But it's important to realize that you can overcome that. It takes time. It takes talking to people, taking advantage of the support that's out there."

Dr. Kubiak suggests talking to people who care, whether that's a friend, or psychologist. If untreated, PTSD can severely alter moods, making people very depressed with thoughts of self harm. It's at that point that experts say medical attention or therapy is needed.