Depression in the Gulf
The BP oil spill continues to hang like an oily shadow over the Gulf Coast. People are depressed financially and mentally. It’s all connected.
The Press-Register editorial:
THIS ONE’S for the skeptics who roll their eyes at the need for counseling in the wake of the BP oil spill.
A Gallup survey released Tuesday of almost 2,600 coastal residents shows that depression cases are up more than 25 percent since the oil well exploded in April. The survey appears to confirm similar findings from smaller studies, including one by Ochsner Health System, and local anecdotes by mental health workers.
The bottom line: Disasters — whether they be hurricanes or oil spills — produce “invisible” mental aftershocks that can be just as devastating to their victims as physical injuries. The phenomenon was observed after Hurricane Katrina and is now being repeated across the coastal states.