Irma May Be Causing PTSD for Some in South Carolina

With the possibility of another storm, some may be experiencing PTSD.

Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- It's been a rough couple of years for South Carolina residents when it comes to weather. We've experienced the historic flood in October 2015 and Hurricane Matthew last year.

With the possibility of Hurricane Irma impacting the state, many people may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Jennifer Miller is the clinical director and owner of Counseling Plus. Miller says it is not that common for folks in the Midlands to suffer from PTSD because of the weather. She said if someone lost a loved one or a pet during a natural disaster, then they can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It's about their life being threatened. It's not necessarily loss of life, but they tend to have more anxiety if they did suffer a loss. There's depression and they start to go in a panic," she said.

Some of the triggers related to PTSD and weather, according to Miller, are any time a state of emergency is declared.

"They start comparing it to past storms. Once we start doing that, all we see are the images and the constant feedback on television of what is happening," said Miller.

Miller said if you experience anxiety during a storm, do not ignore it. She said the best way to relieve that anxiety is to prepare in advance.

"Do your checklist. Do your batteries, do all that. Just don't panic. When we panic that's when we have trouble making good decisions; that's when we are irritable; that's when we can make mistakes. That panic takes us into a whole other place. We go into another realm when we start to panic," said Miller.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, Miller said don't feel like you are alone. She said it's something you should not feel embarrassed about.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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