Earthquake Trauma Psychology

The earthquake causes physical, economic, and social devastation, as well as physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects. If these effects last longer than a month, an expert must be consulted. Experts point out the importance of early intervention, as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common consequences following an earthquake.

Earthquakes, which are among the disasters that cause physical, economic, and social losses to individuals and society, also have significant psychological effects. Therefore, disaster education, training, preparedness, planning, and mitigation and disaster management are critical.

What are the Traumas That Develop After an Earthquake?

The unpredictability of earthquakes as a natural disaster causes a sense of helplessness and leads to changes in one's life, resulting in psychological problems.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression are the most commonly seen mental disorders after an earthquake.

Another disorder commonly seen after traumatic experiences is depression. The most common symptoms of depression are lack of motivation, fatigue, mood disturbance, sleep and appetite disturbance, and inability to enjoy life.

How to Cope with Earthquake Trauma?

Psychological first aid is the priority intervention that can be provided in a psychosocial manner after an earthquake. This support is intended for people who have recently experienced a severe crisis situation and are under stress. Psychological first aid is a humane and supportive intervention for people who are suffering or in need of support and assistance. Psychological first aid is an important first aid application that is used to cope with the event experienced and involves the satisfaction of basic needs. The main goal is to assist people with acute traumatic stress reactions after sudden traumatic events such as earthquakes, to help them return to their normal lives, and to protect them from possible long-term consequences of traumatic events.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that occurs in individuals after a traumatic event and is characterized by constant recollection of the event, avoidance of situations or events that remind them of the trauma, and heightened arousal. There are many factors that contribute to the development of PTSD, including pretrauma factors (gender, genetics, previous traumatic experiences, previous mental health problems, etc.), trauma-related factors (severity and duration of the traumatic experience, presence of injuries, etc.), and posttrauma factors (low social support, economic problems, etc.).

How to Provide Psychological Support After an Earthquake?

Reactions after an earthquake vary according to individual characteristics. They are natural reactions, considered as normal responses to an abnormal situation. These reactions can be divided into physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral categories. Physiological reactions include fatigue, nausea, headaches, tics, and dizziness. Cognitive reactions include memory problems, attention deficits, and difficulty making decisions. Behavioral reactions include sleep problems, frequent crying, restlessness, reluctance, and substance abuse. Emotional reactions include anxiety, depression, guilt, and anticipation of harm to self or others. Although these reactions are normal, they should be monitored carefully. If they persist for more than a month, the individual should be referred to a psychiatrist and/or psychologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Our experts are here for you with the Earthquake Trauma Psychology Hotline

Our psychologists and psychiatrists offer support through our trauma hotline for any citizen who has experienced trauma or been affected by the earthquake. You can contact us by filling out the free earthquake trauma form. Click here to fill out the form.

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