Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gulf Oil Spill Leaves Distress, Resilience

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010 affected not just the waters of the Gulf of Mexico but also the people who live along its shores. Many residents developed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress, depending on how much the spill disrupted their lives, wrote researchers from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans in the December issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. The earlier effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 increased residents’ vulnerability to the oil spill’s effects; nonetheless, many other residents were able to rebound, wrote the authors. “[It] may be that having survived Hurricane Katrina, individuals believed that they learned from experience and were able to adapt to and cope with adversity,” they said. For more about the mental health aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, see Psychiatric News.
(Image: Lorraine Kourafas/


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