Peer reponse-Natural Disasters and Psychological Stress

Humanities

Please respond to at least one peer post (75-150 words). Cite the text when appropriate for the discussion prompt above. Cite at least two relevant peer-reviewed journal articles to achieve maximum points for this assignment. Be sure that you have addressed all parts of the required response.

When you respond to peers, respond as if you were dialoguing with them, so be sure that your posts are related to their initial postings. Your posting needs to deepen the discussion by adding an additional perspective, sharing new information, or asking an additional question to get your colleague to think more critically about the issue – it should not be a new posting on your part that doesn’t connect to the initial posting or a mere “I agree with everything you’ve said” statement.

Prior to submitting your posts, check them for appropriate grammar, usage and spelling. In the field of social work it is important to be able to communicate effectively when writing as well as when speaking. Errors in these areas will result in a lower grade for your discussion posts.

Peer 1

I can remember as a child and into my high school years hearing about natural disasters that caused tremendous amount of damage to areas of the United States or other countries. I remember thinking about the physical damage the disaster caused or the material things or lives lost. One thing that I never really thought about was the negative effect that natural disasters have on one’s mental health.

According to National Geographic (2019), Hurricane Katrina is one of the worst storms in United States history. Many of the victims of Katrina were of poverty, low income status and African Americans. As stated in the Trouble the Water official trailer, the poverty areas are always the last to be fixed. Due to the lack of help and delay in rebuilding their community, people in these areas experience an increase in stress. Due to the decline in socioeconomic status (SES) and increase in stress, many survivors suffer from many mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and physical illnesses such as chronic pain and cardio-metabolic events (Joseph 2013).

When we take into consideration that an individual is pregnant while living through this natural disaster, we not only take into consideration the effects of stress on the mother but also the fetus. Since stress can cause mental instability including anxiety and depression, mothers may turn to maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as smoking, drinking, and/or drugs, to mask the stress levels. This can cause physical and psychological defects to a fetus, including low birth weight (LBW), birth defects, and even miscarriage (Zastrow, 2019) (Treas, 2014). According to Treas, individuals having experienced a natural disaster and develop PTSD will have flashbacks lasting for months or even years. Individuals with PTSD can also experience social withdrawal, irritability and angry outbursts with no explanation, depression, and chemical abuse or dependence (Treas). All of these symptoms of PTSD can have a negative effect on the fetus of the mother.

According to Maddi (2002), “Counseling, special interventions, and stress management can all help the victim cope with and recover from the impact of a traumatic event.”

Joseph, N. T., Matthews, K., & Myers, H. (2014). Conceptualizing health consequences of hurricane katrina from the perspective of socioeconomic status decline. Health Psychology, 33(2). doi:10.1037/a0031661

Maddi, S. (2002). The story of hardiness: Twenty years of theorizing, research, and practice. Consulting Psychology Journal, 54, 173-185.

Treas, L., Wilkinson, J., (2014). Basic Nursing: Concepts, Skills & Reasoning. Philadelphia, PA: Davis Company.

Zastrow, C. H., Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hessenauer, S. L. (2019, Eleventh Edition). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Boston, MA: Cengage.

Peer2

August of 2005 a category 5 hurricane hit the city of New Orleans by the name of Katrina. After, the hurricane it affected not only the residents but also the cities that New Orleans residents started to reside in. Some of the effects that individuals and families suffered from Katrina were lost of residency, lose of clothes and food, death of family members and friends. Most of the individuals that did survive only left the clothes on their backs and their lives.

Some older individuals could not walk and some that were disabled, who were not able to get out or was not able to be rescued in time. Not only were the residents of New Orleans affected, but other cities that took in these residents also suffered from Katrina. One city for sure that suffered the effect of housing the residents of New Orleans was Houston. Once they moved here the crimes began to rise in the neighborhood that we lived in.

I remember that there would be Houston vs New Orleans shooting several times a week. My mother would make us lay on the floor to make sure that we wouldn’t be hit by any stray bullets but not everyone in the complex was lucky. The next day we would hear about everyone that had either got hit by a bullet or either died. Shootings, stabbings, killings, and even rapes became known around the neighborhood. Some of the men from New Orleans were convicts who had escaped from prisons that flooded down in New Orleans.

There were so many bad incidents that happened that everyone began to stereotype everyone that was from New Orleans. No one wanted to be associated with anyone from New Orleans or even looked as if they were from there, such as people who wore dreads. Now, that I have sat and watched the whole documentary “Trouble in the Water”, I see how they were treated less than human beings and how they were not able to get the help that was needed.

These individuals experienced racism during this hurricane disaster and most of them were already experiencing poverty from were previously living. These types of experiences are stated to shape the reproductive health of girls and young women, therefore “priming” the likelihood of poor pregnancy outcomes before the pregnancy is conceived (Edwards & Grizzard, 2005). This hurricane disaster also resulted in individuals’ social ties being disrupted, and according to Shelley Taylor article, “Tend and Befriend: Biobehavioral bases of affiliation under stress”, there is a need to maintain an adequate level of protective and rewarding social relationships (Taylor, 2006).

Reference:

Taylor, S. E. (2006). Tend and befriend: Biobehavioral bases of affiliation under stress. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(6), 273-277.

Rich-Edwards, J. W., & Grizzard, T. A. (2005). Psychosocial stress and neuroendocrine mechanisms in preterm delivery. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 192, S30-35.

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