We can see the effort to rebuild New Orleans, but what we don't see is the psychological effect of Katrina in people who may have been uprooted and are now living elsewhere. Health experts say they are are seeing a spike in cases of Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from those affected by Katrina.
"It's an emotional roller coaster, you go from exhilarated over just the smallest thing, an overhead light put in, no electricity but and overhead light, to just wanting to quit, give up, sometimes in tears," said Eric Bay, a New Orleans resident who lost his home in Katrina.
"We're seeing more people referred for depression, for stress symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder, we are seeing more drinking. And as I say, in emergency rooms even when people are coming for medical problems, there is an accompanying overlay of severe stress related symptoms, depression, other mental health symptoms that are contributing to the problems they're having," said Dr. Howard Ostrawosky a Psychiatrist.
In Louisiana, state and private institutions are scrambling to meet a critical demand for psychiatric care but since thousands of residents were displaced by the hurricane, the need for depression counseling could be on the increase wherever Katrina impacted families.