Trauma Occurs in 20 Percent of Earthquake Survivors

Trauma Occurs in Percentage of Those Who Survived the Earthquake
Trauma Occurs in 20 Percent of Earthquake Survivors

Üsküdar University NP Feneryolu Medical Center Psychiatrist Dr. Erman Şentürk made an assessment about the earthquake and the psychological trauma caused by the earthquake. Dr. Erman Şentürk defined mental trauma as “the effects of some extraordinary and unexpected events that frighten the person excessively, leave him in terror, and create an intense feeling of helplessness”.

Stating that the effects caused by some extraordinary and unexpected events that frighten and terrify the person, and create an intense sense of helplessness, are called mental trauma, experts state that sudden and unexpected severe earthquakes can also cause trauma.

Şentürk noted that the studies showed that 20 percent of the people who experienced the earthquake suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and recommended that a specialist be consulted in cases that negatively affect the quality of life of the person.

Unexpected events create trauma

Şentürk stated that there may be many situations and events that cause distress and sadness in a person's life, but not all of them will cause mental trauma and said, “In order for an event to create mental trauma, the person must be in a feeling of intense fear, horror or helplessness. At the same time, the person himself or his relatives must experience or feel the danger of death and injury.” used the phrases.

Underlining that the death of a person's relative after years of illness is less likely to cause mental trauma, Şentürk said, “The unexpected loss of that person, for example, in a traffic accident, creates a more traumatic effect. This situation is more likely to lead to a spiritual tramway.” said.

Referring to the events that cause trauma, Şentürk said, “Some natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and fires can cause trauma. Man-made war, torture, rape, accidents, traffic accidents, work accidents, unexpected sudden deaths, serious and deadly diseases lead to more mental tramp.” he said.

The two most common post-traumatic conditions

Şentürk mentioned that two psychiatric conditions are observed very often after mental trauma, and said that one of them is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the other is depression.

Watch out for these symptoms

Speaking about the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Şentürk shared the following information: “The most important symptoms are insomnia, nightmares, sleep interruptions, inability to fall asleep, and disturbing memories and sounds of the event. In addition, the symptoms include feeling the fear that the event will be repeated all the time and therefore feeling alert and on edge, very easy startle, tension, feeling of anxiety, quick anger, thinking that others do not understand what they are experiencing, a kind of alienation from the environment and being uneasy from the events that remind the event and avoiding these situations. We observe avoidance behaviors very often.”

Şentürk said that intense unhappiness, pessimism, reluctance, malaise, not enjoying anything, not being interested in the things he used to enjoy, not making any plans and programs for the future, intense lack of energy, sleep and appetite changes are also observed very often in depression.

20 percent of those who experience the earthquake suffer from PTSD

Emphasizing that post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that can last for many years and lead to serious loss of workforce, Şentürk said, “Although there are many people in society who experience mental trauma, only some of them develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies show that 20 percent of people who experience an earthquake suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people may be more prone to this condition, or some people may be more resistant to this condition. It is not easy for us to know in advance who will suffer from PTSD or who will experience it for a longer period of time, but there are some signs and symptoms related to it.” said.

Women live 2-3 times longer than men

Şentürk stated that studies have shown that post-traumatic stress disorder is 2-3 times more common in women than men, and said, “People who have experienced a different mental trauma in the past, those who have had a mental illness in the past, and people with psychiatric disorders in their relatives are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. is too much.” used the phrases.

Being caught in an earthquake beforehand increases the severity of the trauma

Şentürk warned, “The more severe the mental trauma is experienced, the longer and longer the effects are.” And worst of all, the person who is trapped under the rubble is more prone to post-traumatic stress disorder because he or she can experience more severe psychological trauma than the person who does not.” he said.

Avoidance behaviors observed

Şentürk stated that avoidance behaviors such as not going to the place where the event happened and trying to live as if the event did not happen cause more post-traumatic stress disorder, and said:

“Especially after the earthquake, not being able to be alone in the house, feeling the need to be with a relative all the time, feeling very restless and nervous when the relative leaves the house, not wanting to go inside the house, going to relatives are among the symptoms we observe very often.”

Medication and therapy methods are used

Şentürk, who also evaluated the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, said, “The most important situation here is how much the person is affected by the trauma. Information is generally sufficient for people who are little affected by trauma and can continue their lives as before. Counseling or a very short-term psychiatric treatment approach may be sufficient for people who are more affected by trauma, who experience symptoms but can continue to work. We recommend psychiatric treatment to people who are severely affected by trauma and experience severe symptoms, but still have a good job. Here again, consultancy plays an important role.” said.

If depression accompanies, drug therapy is recommended.

Şentürk stated that psychiatric treatment is recommended for people who are severely affected by trauma and who have severe symptoms, and said, “If depression is added to PTSD symptoms, we definitely recommend drug treatment. Antidepressant treatment is mostly used in drug treatment. At the same time, some anxiolytic treatments can be added. We know that besides drug treatments, therapies are also effective. In particular, the therapy method we call cognitive behavioral therapy helps people to overcome this process more easily.” he said.

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