DES MOINES, Iowa — While rebuilding physical damage from severe weather may take awhile, recovering from emotional distress may take longer. The American Red Cross says about 20% of people affected by a natural disaster will develop PTSD.
Local mental health experts say that the symptoms for some can be: having trouble sleeping or concentrating, being easily startled, or seeing the disaster replaying in their minds. While adults tend to recognize their symptoms quickly, children may be more likely to struggle in silence.
“Children often experience trauma differently. And sometimes, you know, we think about the adults but it might just present differently with children and sometimes they might be feeling frightened or confused and they might not be able to verbalize that. And we might see it right away. Maybe they start acting out or become really clingy. But it might not happen for weeks or months after,” said Assistant Vice President of Behavioral Health at Broadlawns, Kindra Perry.