What psychological illnesses can be in victims of earthquakes?


On February 6, 2023, one of the biggest disasters in Turkish history occurred. We are in a state of deep sadness and mourning for the country after the death of thousands of our citizens. Those who have lost their homes and families are trying to move on. Experts say that after such devastating earthquakes, people who survived a natural disaster can observe psychological illness. This is usually due to the body’s desire to protect itself. Let’s take a look together at the psychological disorders that earthquakes can cause and what can be done about them:

Experts explain the psychological effect of an earthquake: “Keep children away from images of an earthquake”


Hypervigilance, which literally means “overexcited,” is a state of over-vigilance even when there is no threat. Psychotherapist Caroline Wagner argues that survivors of major earthquakes can be constantly in a state of anxiety. Wagner said that the body is in a state of constant sensitivity in order to protect itself. “Any slightest noise will make you run and hide” he adds. Hypervigilance is usually expected to go away on its own. But if it continues for a long time, it could be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anxiety and depression


U.S. social worker and psychotherapist Nikita Banks says survivors of devastating earthquakes often suffer from anxiety disorders and depression. These two conditions often occur together and may present with symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, decreased interest in daily activities, nervousness, and inability to concentrate. Although it is normal to experience these symptoms from time to time, people need to be treated if they persist. Experts say that even 6 or 12 months after the first disaster, it is difficult for the victims to return to normal life.

mental checkpoint


Nikita Banks talks about how survivors of natural disasters like earthquakes can relive the event in their minds. Social worker, “It is necessary to ensure that they have a daily routine as soon as possible to help them regain a sense of normalcy” He says.

earthquake phobia


The director of the April Alert Control Center, Dr. Craig April, says an earthquake is a desire to constantly think about the possibility of another earthquake. Destructive situations beyond our control, such as natural disasters, make people feel this way.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a disorder that usually occurs in people who have experienced major disasters, such as war or an earthquake. The most common symptoms are intense fear, nightmares, and a return to the moment of distress. Clinical psychologist, earthquake survivor. Yana Scrivani says most people directly affected by a natural disaster will have post-traumatic stress disorder. “Most will recover, but some people will get stuck somewhere in the recovery process and PTSD will continue.”

What can be done?

from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. Cristina Marzano says recovery is possibleR. “Healing is possible, but the support of friends and family who understand and support the victim is critical.” Stating that the psychologically most risky group are children and the elderly, Marzano emphasizes that after trauma, cognitive behavioral therapy should be applied.

The Ministry of Family and Social Services is sending psychosocial support groups to the regions where the earthquake occurred. The Turkish Psychiatric Association and the Turkish Psychological Association have also started sending experts to the regions.

The area where the earthquake did not destroy a single house: Erzin

What are the cities with low and high risk of earthquakes in Turkey?

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