In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. How did Hurricane Harvey affect Houston? To start, the storm killed more than 100 people in the United States and caused upwards of $100 billion in damage. Often overlooked, however, is how Hurricane Harvey impacted the mental health of Houston residents.
Hurricane Harvey Was a Traumatic Experience
Unless you have lived through a natural disaster, it is hard to imagine just how traumatic the experience can be. The home should be a place of refuge and safety. Whatever happens outside in the world, the home is where people can go to rest, recharge, and surround themselves with loved ones.
When a hurricane like Harvey tears through a city, it devastates more than just physical structures. It also breaks down feelings of security. Family heirlooms might be lost, generations of memories taken away, and years of sweat equity gone when homes flood.
This is indeed a traumatic experience. For a startling number of Houston residents, Hurricane Harvey was a source of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Withdrawal is Common
People around the world are asking: How did Hurricane Harvey affect Houston? Clearly, the collective mental health of the city is going to take a hit as a result of such a traumatic experience. One way to view living through trauma is to think of it as a death in the family. Many people who live through natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey will experience the stages of grief following the event.
One of the most visible of these stages is withdrawal. Although there is always an emphasis on bringing the community together in times of trouble, that can be easier said than done. Many struggle to connect with their family members, friends, and neighbors in the wake of a natural disaster. This isolation, whether or not it is self-imposed, can negatively affect Houston mental health as a whole.
Increased Risk for Substance Abuse Disorders
One of the worst ways that Hurricane Harvey impacted Houston residents is by making them more susceptible to future addiction. There is plenty of evidence showing that when people experience trauma, they are more likely to deal with substance abuse in the future.
This happens mainly because individuals who live through a trauma rarely receive the necessary mental health support afterward. Instead of seeking an accurate diagnosis and therapy, they may try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. It won’t take long before substance abuse turns into an addiction.
Many Houston Residents Struggle to Plan for the Future
If you take a look at any current reports on Hurricane Harvey, you might read about plans to rebuild. There are certainly many ways that rebuilding has been successful, although the city still has a long way to go. On an individual level, however, many Houston residents struggle to make plans for their own futures.
A natural disaster can make the future seem uncertain. While it might be important to live each day to the fullest, it is also critical to plan ahead for a better life. Some residents are not able to secure long-term housing or careers. This can lead to anxiety, which in turn makes it even harder to succeed.
How Did Hurricane Harvey Affect Houston and What Can be Done to Solve it?
Houston mental health is a critical concern right now. Visiting the best psychiatric hospital Houston has to offer might be a good start for many Houston residents. At PACE Mental Health, you and your loved ones can get help tackling a wide range of mental health issues. Some of the services available include all of the following:
- Substance abuse disorder therapy
- Depression therapy
- Anxiety therapy
- PTSD therapy
- Panic attack therapy
How did Hurricane Harvey affect Houston? In many ways, including mental health. At PACE Mental Health, you can find support that makes a difference. Call 866.971.8423 to learn more.