Psychological Consequences of Earthquakes
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones, floods, and tornadoes are some of the traumatic experiences that may cause posttraumatic stress disorders. This type of disorders and other disaster related psychological problems are prevalent after natural disasters. As a result it is important to analyse those individuals that develop psychological problems especially to prepare and plan interventions both in the short and long term after disaster (Coşkun, Coşkun, 2000, p: 68). Earthquakes have quickly become one of the most highlighted natural disasters. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes occur without warning, the impact is widespread and severe, and the effects often persist long after (Chen et al., 2007). Earthquakes are life threatening, unpredictable and uncontrollable phenomena that can cause widespread devastation and expose thousands of people to sudden bereavement, injury, loss of property, homelessness, and displacement (Livanou et al., 2004 p: 137). Thus the most common psychiatric conditions see among earthquake survivors are most traumatic stress disorder (post traumatic stress disorder) and depression (Salcioglu et al., 2007 p: 115), anxiety, sleep disorders, and substance abuse (Chen et al., 2007). In this essay I will cover the psychological consequences of an earthquake, how individuals react towards the risks involved in them.
The most commonly reported post traumatic stress disorder risk factors among earthquake survivors include; female gender and severity of earthquake experience have consistently been found to relate to worse psychological outcomes after earthquake (Armenian et al, 2000, p:58). On the other hand other reported predictors of post earthquake psychological problems are loss of close ones (Armenian et al, 2000), older age at trauma (Lewin et al, 1998 p: 20 ), lower education (Başoğlu et al, 2002, p: 269 ),
References: Altindag A, Ozen S, 2005, Sir A. One-year follow-up study of posttraumatic stress disorder among earthquake survivors in Turkey. Compr - Psychiatry;46:328- 33. Basoglu, M., Salcioglu, E., & Livanou, M. (2002). Traumatic stress responses in earthquake survivors in Turkey. Journal of Trawnoric Stress, 15,269-276. Basoglu, M., C. Kilic, E. Salcioglu and M. Livanou (2004) ‘Prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in earthquake survivors in Turkey: An epidemiological study’. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 17(2). pp. 133–141. Basoglu, M., E. Salcioglu and M. Livanou (2007) ‘A randomized controlled study of single-session behavioural treatment of earthquake-related post-traumatic stress disorder using an earthquake simulator’. Psychological Medicine. 37(2). pp. 203–213. Bland, S., O’Leary, E. S.. Farinaro. E.. Jossa. F.. Krogh. V.. Violanti, J. M., et al. (1997). Social network disturbances and psychological distress following earthquake evacuation. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 186. 188-194. Breslau, N., Davis, G., Adreski, P., Peterson, E., & Schultz, L. (1997). Sex differences in posttraumatic stress disorder.Archivesof General Psychiatry, 54, 1044-1048. Chen C., Tan H., Liao L., Chen H., Chan C., Cheng J., Chen C., Wang T., Lu M., 2007, Long Term Psychological Outcome of 1999 Taiwan Earthquake Survivors: a survey of a high risk sample with property damage, Department of Psychiatry Center, Natou, Taiwan. Chen CC, Yeh TL, Yang YK, Chen SJ, Lee IH, Fu LS, et al., 2001, Psychiatric morbidity and post-traumatic symptoms among survivors in the early stage following the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan. Psychiatry Res;105:13- 22. Chen y., Tsoi KL., Chen F., Kam-Ling T., Gao Z., Zou Q., 1988, The Great Tangshan earthquake of 1976 : An anatomy of disaster. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press. Coburn A., Spence R., 1992, Earthquake protection, Chichester, UK; John Wiley & Sons ltd. CoSkun, B., & Cogkun. A. (2000). Evaluation of community mental health services programs after the Marmara earthquake. Psikiyarri Psikoloji Psikofarmakoloji Dergisi, 8 (Suppl. I), 68-77. (Turkish) Cullen, J., & Connolly, J Eth, S., & Pynoos, R. S. (Eds.). (1985). Post-traumatic stress disorder in children. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press. Freedy, J. R., Shaw, D. L., Jarrell, M. P., & Masters, C. R. (1992). Towards an understanding of the psychological impact of natural disasters: An application of the conservation resources stress model. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 3, 441454. Goenjian. A. K.. Najarian, L. M., Pynm. R. S.. Steinberg, A. M., Manoukian, G., Tavosian, A., et al. (1994). Posttraumatic stress disorder in elderly and younger adults after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151,895-901. Government Planning Organization of Primeministery Ress Release. (1999). Retrieved December 20,1999. from the World Wide Web www.basbakanlik.gov.tr/deprem/dptdeprenuaporu.doc Horowitz, M Kato H, Asukai N, Miyake Y, Minakawa K, Nishiyama A. (1996) Posttraumatic symptoms among younger and elderly evacuees in the early stages following the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in Japan. Acta Psychiatr Scand ;93:477- 81. Lai TJ, Chang CM, Connor KM, Lee LC, Davidson JR.(2004) Full and partial PTSD among earthquake survivors in rural Taiwan Lewin, T. I., Can; V. J., & Webster, R. A. (1998). Recovery from post earthquake psychological morbidity: Who suffers and who recovers? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 32,15-20. Lima. B. R., Chavez, H., Samaniego, N., Pompei, M. S.. Pai, S.. Santacruz, H., et al. (1989). Disaster severity and emotional disturbance: Implications for primary mental health care developing countries. Acra Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 79.74-82. Sharan P, Chaudhary G, Kavathekar SA, Saxena S. (1996) Preliminary report of psychiatric disorders in survivors of a severe earthquake. Am J Psychiatry;153:556-8. Scott R. L., Knoth R. L. Beltran-Quiones M., Gomez N., 2003, Assessment of Psychological Functioning in Adolescent Earthquake Victims in Colombia Using the MMPI-A, Journal of traumatic stress, Vol. 16 No.1 49 -57. Slovic P., Fischhoff B., & Lichtenstein S., 1982, Behavioural Decision theory perspectives on risk and safety, Acta Psychologia, 56, 183 – 203. Smith K., 1993, Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk & Reducin disaster. London: Routledge Publishers. Ursano RJ, Kao TC, Fullerton CS. (1982) Posttraumatic stress disorder and meaning: structuring human chaos. J Nerv Ment Dis ;180:756 - 9. Wang X, Gao L, Zhang H, Zhao C, Shen Y, Shinfuku N.(2000) Postearthquake quality of life and psychological well-being: longitudinal evaluation in a rural community sample in northern China. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci;54:427- 33. Webster, R. A., Mc Donald, R., Lewin, T. J.. &Can; V. I. (1995). Effects of natural disaster on immigrants and host populations. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 183,39&397.