Natural Disasters

Topics: Psychological trauma, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Stress, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Abnormal psychology / Pages: 15 (3607 words) / Published: Feb 2nd, 2009
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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 ),



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