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Rescuers suffer the most from earthquake trauma

Psychiatrist Dr. Onur Okan Demirci, who stated that people affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes may experience a psychiatric condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, said: “Rescue teams are among the groups most affected by earthquake trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is frequently seen in crime scene officials such as search and rescue teams and medical teams that intervene.”

Rescuers suffer the most from earthquake trauma

Stating that post-traumatic stress disorder can occur within days and months after an earthquake as well as years after an earthquake, Demirci said, “Psychological assistance processes of the victims should not be limited to days or months. Be alert to the emergence of possible trauma symptoms over the years.”

Listing the symptoms of the trauma, Dr. Demirci said:

“Physical symptoms could be listed such as problems with sleep and appetite, sensitivity to sounds, startle response, introversion, feeling constantly alert, tension, restlessness, constant weakness, unwillingness, malaise, attention and focus problems, night nightmares, distraction, forgetfulness, irritability, irritability, quick temper, impulse control difficulty in experiencing an earthquake, high earthquake anxiety, decrease in work or school success, deterioration in social relations, personality changes, changes in habits, body aches, palpitations, sweating, tremors.”

“EARTHQUAKE AFFECTS NOT ONLY THOSE LIVING THE EARTHQUAKE, BUT ALSO FOLLOWING THE PROCESS”

Psychiatrist Dr. Onur Okan Demirci from Istanbul Gelisim University, who said that even after the earthquake, a deteriorating mental health can be encountered over the years, said: “The people who are most affected by the earthquake trauma are those who have experienced the most severe earthquake, those who are under the dent, and those who have lost their loved ones. The earthquake affects not only those who have experienced the earthquake, but also many who follow and follow this process. Rescue teams are one of the groups most affected by earthquake trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is frequently seen in crime scene officials such as search and rescue teams and medical teams that intervene.”

“HIGHLY POSSIBLE FOR TREATMENT WHEN TAKEN SERIOUSLY”

Explaining that the possibility of spontaneous disappearance of post-traumatic stress disorder is quite low unless it is treated, Demirci said: “We must be alert, careful, cautious and open-minded in the face of this situation that affects the quality of life at a serious level. Psychiatric disorders that are often not taken seriously can have serious consequences both individually and socially. This situation, which is highly treatable when taken seriously, can cost many lives when not taken seriously. People with earthquake trauma can be intervened urgently and psychotherapy interventions can be performed in the following period. Earthquake trauma can be overcome in a much healthier way, especially with psychotherapy methods such as EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. The sooner we can accept that the earthquake has serious physical effects as well as serious psychological effects, the better chance we will have to intervene.”



Edited date: 03.11.2020
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